Egypt’s poor record in suppressing peaceful dissent must not be allowed to undermine the success of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 27) scheduled to take place in Sharm el-Sheikh from 7-18 November, Amnesty International said. The group emphasized that the spotlight on Egypt as it prepares to host the conference should be used as an opportunity to press for meaningful progress in the field of human rights in the country.
The organization called on the governments participating in the conference to pressure the Egyptian authorities to ensure the safe, effective and meaningful participation of actors in civil society. “The conference is an important moment to address the climate emergency, a human rights crisis of unprecedented proportions,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Director of Research and Advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa. “Given Egypt’s record of silencing critical voices and stifling independent organizations, there are growing concerns that civil society actors will not be able to engage freely with each other and with participants.
“The Egyptian authorities should not be allowed to use the conference as an attempt to improve their image in a way that diverts attention from criticism of their human rights record. Instead, states, bodies and organizations participating in the event should pressure the authorities, both private and public, to ensure the effective participation of Egyptian and international civil society.” Egyptian activists also expressed concern about their inability to participate in the conference for fear of reprisals.