Today, the French Human Rights Ambassador, François Croquette, met with Bahey Eldin Hassan, Egyptian human rights defender and director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) as well as Michel Tubiana, honorary president of EuroMed Rights.
The position of the French government towards the catastrophic human rights situation in Egypt was discussed in the meeting, as the Egyptian government continues to crackdown on peaceful dissent, with an estimated 60,000 political prisoners, and mass killings and death sentences, as well as systematic torture and forced disappearances.
Although the French government has often acted to protect Egyptian and Arab human rights defenders in France, it still has the responsibility to privately and publicly condemn the Egyptian government’s brutal human rights transgressions.
Additionally, President Macron and the French government must act to cease the authorization of selling weapons and surveillance equipment to Egypt given that they are instrumental in crushing ordinary Egyptian citizens and peaceful opposition, even though they are alleged to be used in the fight against terrorism.
In the meeting, the case of Mr Hassan, who received multiple death threats from persons close to security bodies as a result of his commitment to the promotion of human rights, was discussed. Some of the death threats were expressed on live TV. The latest death threat came in reaction to a memo sent by seven Egyptian independent human rights groups, including CIHRS, to the UN Secretary-General regarding the human rights situation in Egypt. Hassan was forced into exile in France in 2014 after he received his first death threats.
Hassan also raised several specific cases, including threats against human rights defenders inside and outside prison, as well as the deteriorating health and detention conditions of former President Mohamed Morsi, urging for a visit by the French Ambassador to Egypt to Mr Morsi.