Yet again, the United States has shown its near-total support for the Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’sregime in Egypt, with the recent announcement of another, huge sale of arms to the country.
Whilst Sisi takes revenge on American human-rights activist’s families, Biden plans to sell him weapons
President Biden’s new administration has announced its approval of the sale of a batch of Raytheon-made missiles, worth approximately $200 million. However, American lawmakers are yet to approve the deal.
Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) condemns the potential arms sale, and asks that US lawmakers consider it in the light of al-Sisi’s regime’s appalling record on human-rights violations, as detailed by multiple independent groups, including the AOHR UK.
One such violation concerns an American citizen, Mohamed Soltan, whose family in Egpty suffered a regime reprisal only last week.
Soltan was first arrested in Egypt in September 2013, whilst he held an American-Egyptian citizenship. He was released and returned to his country of birth in 2015, afte a long hunger-strike against his detention.
Soltan, having renounced his Egyptian citizenship, has subsequently filed a lawsuit in a US court against the Egyptian authorities, alleging that he was tortured whilst imprisoned.
He filed the lawsuit in June 2020, and has begun working with members of the US Congress on the question of human rights in Egypt.
However, in apparent revenge against Soltan himself, last week the Egyptian authorities raided the home of Mohamed’s relatives in Egypt, detaining two of his cousins.
Last week’s arrests were not the first time the Soltan family appeared to have been punished by Egyptian authorities for Mohamed’s activities.
Following the filing of the June lawsuit, several of his family members were detained in Egypt. On their release – after 144 days – Soltan himself said that “all five of my apolitical cousins that were unjustly detained as a reprisal for my lawsuit”.
Given such actions against US citizens, and a much wider pattern of total disregard to basic international norms concerning political freedoms and the treatment of prisoners, the AOHR UK calls for the US Congress to block the most recent arms sale to al-Sisi’s Egypt.