Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) is following up on the statements made by the Egyptian Presidential Pardon Committee member, Tariq Al-Awadi, in which he stated that “Presidential pardon decisions since the climate summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh have become almost invalid, and what is happening is a waste of time, and the situation has become very frustrating.”
Since April 22, 2022, the Egyptian government has detained 4,590 people, freed 1,716, and extended the detention of 659 others. 86 prisoners have died in custody in the same reported period.
The so-called national dialogue called by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, according to AOHR UK, is a fresh foray into international diplomacy.
AOHR UK emphasised that there has been no improvement in the human rights situation as long as arrests, prison abuses, medical neglect, silencing of opponents, restrictions on free speech, and persecution are still occurring.
In order to avoid criticism for human rights during the UN climate summit, a presidential amnesty was declared for the release of 1,040 prisoners before October 2022. However, the decision remained just ink on paper.
During the UN event, the British Prime Minister demanded the release of the British activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. But as soon as the summit was over, Egypt’s human rights situation deteriorated even further, returning to its pre-summit state. Since that time, no detainees have been freed, and human rights abuses against detainees, particularly against those who are being held on political charges, have increased.
According to AOHR UK, the regime’s refusal to implement the recommendations submitted by the Presidential Amnesty Committee, which it created on its own, is proof of the political regime’s exploitation of the climate summit and its manipulation of the international community, which gets involved in the violations committed by the Egyptian regime by giving it political and financial support while ignoring the demands of human rights defenders.
AOHR UK urged the international community to exert real pressure on the Egyptian regime to free political detainees, particularly young people who have been imprisoned for more than ten years on false charges, and to reform the Egyptian justice system, which has devolved into a tool of repression in violation of the Egyptian constitution as thousands of young people have been kept behind bars facing harsh sentences, including death penalties.