Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan speaks out on human rights abuses in Egypt
Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan speaking yesterday on the 5th anniversary of the Egyptian uprising called on the European Union not to remain silent on the state repression being witnessed there.
Ms Boylan said;
‘Five years ago our TV screens were filled with hundreds of thousands of protestors across Egypt marching with hopes for a democratic future for their country which included free and fair elections, the rule of law and freedom of assembly, expression and association.
What the Egyptian people are now facing however under Al-Sisi’s regime is an ever-worsening situation of state repression which has clamped down on these aspirations. The degree of suppression has been described by some as the worst the country has ever seen.
Journalists with differing opinions to the military regime are gagged with either actual imprisonment or the threat of such. Egypt now has the highest rate of jailed journalists per capita anywhere in the world.’
Ms Boylan continued:
‘Human rights NGOs are also a ‘target’ for the regime. With arbitrary arrests, intimidation, prolonged detentions and harsh sentences for human rights activists and political protestors, Egypt’s regime is seemingly aiming for the eradication of any independent civil society.
‘Over 40,000 political prisoners remain behind bars, including an Irish citizen and Amnesty prisoner of conscience. Peaceful Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan speaking yesterday on the 5th anniversary of the Egyptian uprising called on the European Union not to remain silent on the state repression being witnessed there. such as Ibrahim Halawa are subjected to mass trials without due process, a situation which the UN has described as a ‘mockery of justice’.
‘Along with many other abuses of individual freedoms and human rights, these issues pose a serious concern for Egyptians under Al-Sisi. The EU must make sure its engagement with external countries does not go against its professed values for human rights which are also explicitly set out as pre-requisites for preferential trade deals.
The EU cannot tolerate such flagrant human rights abuses under a clearly authoritarian regime and must make stronger representations to Egypt to; release all political prisoners, amend the Protest Law and end the harassment of civil society and human rights organisations. '