EU-Egypt Anti-Terrorism Forum fights for “human rights violations”: HRW | Human rights news

Human Rights Watch called on the European Union to “seriously reconsider its course” amid the human rights situation in Egypt.

Human Rights Watch has called on the European Union not to launch a proposed joint bid with Egypt to head a global counter-terrorism body, condemning the country’s attitude toward critics.

On Sunday, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it intends to participate in a joint ticket with the EU to lead the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF), an organization described by New York-based Human Rights Watch as “a multilateral platform with a broad impact on global counter-terrorism policy. “

Citing an expired EU-branded Council document outlining a proposed joint bid, the rights body called on the EU on Tuesday to “seriously reconsider its course” over Egypt’s “disgusting dossier on human rights violations in the name of fighting with terrorism. “

In a statement, the group said Egypt had become a “black hole for human rights” after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2013.

HRW cites attacks by Egyptian authorities on civil society groups, journalists, human rights defenders, politicians and lawyers, among others in recent years.

Human rights groups say Egypt holds about 60,000 political prisoners, many in brutal conditions and overcrowded cells.

“The joint bid in question would go beyond the usual simple hypocrisy and cunning behind-the-scenes deals: it would be an open insult to peaceful Egyptian critics who paid a high price for their efforts to secure human rights and a democratic future for their country.” “terrorists because they dared to do so,” the HRW statement said.

A photo taken during a guided tour organized by the State Information Service of Egypt on February 11, 2020, shows an Egyptian policeman standing guard at Torah Prison.According to human rights groups, there are about 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt [File: Khaled Desouki/AFP]

“Instead of shamefully considering a joint bid with Egypt, ignoring its meager rights record, the EU must start taking sensible action to tackle it.

The GCTF, made up of 30 member states, seeks to “reduce the recruitment of terrorists and increase countries’ civilian capabilities to deal with terrorist threats”, according to its website, and works closely with the UN.

Since February 2018, Egypt has been conducting a national operation against armed fighters, focusing mainly on the northern Sinai and the western desert of the country.

More than 1,000 suspected gunmen and dozens of security officials have been killed in Sinai, according to official figures.

There is no independent source of deaths, as North Sinai is banned from journalists.

The North African country has been chosen to host the next climate summit, COP27, to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh later this year.

HRW said in November that the move “rewards” the repressive rule of El Sisi.

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