In a press conference in Budapest, Hungary, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has referred to recent criticism from European leaders and international institutions of the human-rights situation in Egypt: “We do not need someone to tell us that human-rights standards are being breached”, el-Sisi said. “I am responsible for 100 million lives and for their protection – and this is not easy”, he continued.
His defensive remarks appear to be in response to mounting criticism of his regime’s appalling human-rights record. For example, in March this year, at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland to the United Nations, presented a joint declaration from over 30 states condemning the human-rights situation in Egypt.
In her own statement, Kauppi wrote that, “we remain deeply concerned about the trajectory of human rights in Egypt and share the concerns expressed by the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedure mandate holders.”
The joint declaration followed a petition from over 100 global human-rights organisations in February, condemning the repression of human-rights groups by the Egyptian regime, as led by el-Sisi since 2013.
At the same moment that the UNHCR held its 46th session, a spokesperson for the new US administration expressed their “deep concern” about Egypt’s human rights record.
Since President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi assumed power, Egyptian authorities have waged an unprecedented crackdown on dissidents and critics, making thousands of political arrests. Many Egyptians have been convicted and sentenced via grossly unfair trials; dozens of them have been executed, and many more detained without trial for years.
AOHR UK has repeatedly called on the international community, the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), and other relevant international bodies, to pressure the Egyptian regime to dramatically improve its treatment of prisoners in particular.