al-Sisi's latest Attack on Free Speech condemned – Boylan
Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin Lynn Boylan has expressed her condemnation at the latest attack on civil society by the al-Sisi government in Egypt.
Speaking from Brussels, Ms Boylan said:
“This week, we witnessed yet another example of al-Sisi’s crackdown on civil society. This time, the target is the leading rights group, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF). The Egyptian government has blocked the ECRF website to the Egyptian public and the organisation is now operating the best they can through their Facebook page. It is a clear indication of how President al-Sisi treats those who seek to highlight human rights abuses in Egypt.
“The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms is the organisation that published ‘The Forbidden Right’ – a report on the status of media and press freedoms during al-Sisi’s presidency. The report documented 658 violations against journalists and named the Ministry of Interior as the biggest culprit. It is clearly an important voice in Egypt that the government wants silenced. I condemn all actions that are squeezing NGOs and journalists into spaces where they can only operate in fear and danger.
“This is only the latest of multiple clampdowns on organisations in Egypt that are trying to bring the truth to light. The EU, as a major trading partner with Egypt in the form of the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, must not ignore these attacks to civil liberties that are guaranteed by the ICCPR and the Egyptian constitution itself.
“This latest action by the Egyptian Government is just another step in the crackdown of civil engagement in Egypt since al-Sisi seized power in 2013.”