The Egyptian people had given a lesson to the world with their peaceful revolution of Tahrir Square which had overthrown the dictator Hosni Mubarak in 2011. Unsatisfied with his reforms, it had also overthrown President Mohamed Morsi in 2013… Today, we are back to dictatorship, with Marshal Abdel Fattah al Sissi, who ensured his own international impunity by choosing to ally with the United States of Donald Trump, but also by buying military equipment from France.
The International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles remembers the campaign against the presence of the telephone company Orange in Israel. This campaign was successful in 2015 thanks to the BDS campaign in Egypt and the natural and massive solidarity of the Egyptian people with the Palestinian people. Today, such a campaign would no longer be possible. After nearly closing the Gaza-Egypt crossing, Sissi threw several BDS Egypt leaders, Ramy Shaath and Mohamed El-Massry, into prison, a strong message of submission to the new world order of Trump and Netanyahu.
Back to a military, autocratic and corrupt power. Back to censorship of public expression. Back to arrests, expulsions and political assassinations. Any opposition is punished. Heroes and heroines of the 2011 revolution are in prison : Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mahienour El-Massry, Israa Abdel Fattah, Hossam el-Sayed, Solafa Magdy, Mohamed Salah, Zyad El-Elaimy. Thousands of supporters of Mohamed Morsi have been hunted down, imprisoned or murdered, including the former president and his son. Even today, Sissi tracks all opposition, whether it comes from independent journalists, like Lina Attalah, the editor-in-chief of Mada Masr, or even from musicians like Galal El-Behairy or from filmmakers like Shady Habash, because they participated in the clip of a song that made fun of him.
Sometimes these arrests are justified by charges, without any evidence, of belonging to imaginary terrorist organizations, but more often no trial takes place, no charges are pressed, no judge is consulted… pre-trial detention is simply renewed for months and years…
Shady Habash died after two years in prison without trial, as he was only 24, because in addition to arresting all those who displease him, the tyrant Sissi has them tortured and makes sure they are detained in conditions so appalling that they endanger their lives. Overcrowding, promiscuity, mistreatments, lack of food and water, lack of hygiene, poor access to health care, even for chronic diseases, high risks of transmission of contagious diseases like Covid-19…
It is our duty as citizens, activists, trade unionists, to put pressure on the Egyptian dictatorship which only holds thanks to the shameful complicity of Western governments.
We therefore join Amnesty International (1), Human Rights Watch (2), or FIDH (3) in protesting the repression of all opposition, even slight criticism, of the Egyptian regime.
We also relay the numerous calls and petitions, coming from both French (4) and European (5) members of parliament, journalists and academics (6), and personalities from the Arab world (7), demanding the release of human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Egypt.
We invite the members of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles to send letters to the Ambassador of Egypt of their countries, as well as to the Attorney General Hamada Al-Sawi (Office of the Public Prosecutor, Madinat al-Rehab, Cairo, Egypt) to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience in Egypt.
We condemn the return of the dictatorship in Egypt, the violations of human rights and demand that all political, commercial or military contracts be suspended, as a prerequisite for the release of prisoners of conscience, the return of freedom of expression, of political freedom and democracy in Egypt. It is Sissi who must be brought to justice and sent to prison !