The visit of President of Sisi of Egypt is the opportunity to push forward a road map to democracy and human rights in Egypt

The visit of President of Sisi of Egypt is the opportunity to push forward a road map to democracy and human rights in Egypt

4 November 2015

As President Sisi starts his three-day official visit to London, Caabu has urged the British government not to back off from raising in serious terms the declining human rights standards in Egypt and lack of progress towards proper democratic governance under the rule of law. 

Since Sisi seized power in 2013, around 2,500 of his opponents have been killed, over 40,000 political prisoners have been jailed. At present there are around 150 Egyptian members of Parliament among them. Freedom of expression has been compromised and numerous and Egyptian and international journalists imprisoned without a fair trial. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, around 20 journalists are currently in Egyptian jails. Since seizing power in 2013, the British Government has licensed £85m worth of arms sales to Egypt, including £40m-worth of components for military combat vehicles, licensed in March 2015.

Caabu Director, Chris Doyle stated that “Britain must not abandon its core values and also those who struggled so bravely for real and lasting change in Egypt. Britain needs a relationship with Egypt but there is no reason why that relationship should not be a critical one.”

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron in both 2011 and 2012 at the United Nations made powerful speeches supporting movements for democracy and freedom in the Middle East and North Africa and said rightly that “we have a responsibility to help them [the protesters].”  He challenged the myth that dictatorial regimes provided security. “Brutal dictatorship made the region more dangerous not less. More dangerous because these regimes dealt with frustration at home by whipping up anger against their neighbours, the West and Israel. And more dangerous too, because people denied a job and a voice were given no alternative but a dead end choice between dictatorship or extremism.”

It is time for David Cameron to re-read these speeches and remind himself why he made this compelling case. Britain must not return to the cosy, elite relationships between a democracy and dictatorship that so betrayed ordinary Egyptians.

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Notes for Editors:

1)      For more information or interviews contact Chris Doyle, on + 44207 832 1321 or +447968 040281.




5)     See also article by Chris Doyle in Middle East Eye, 4 November 2015