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 Full text 
Thursday, 13 December 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Egypt, notably the situation of human rights defenders

  Charles Tannock, author. – Mr President, I have been a strong friend of Egypt, I have sought to support the stabilising of efforts made by President al—Sisi’s Government over the past few years and I am all too aware of the very difficult security situation that exists in that fragile country. There can be no doubt that Egypt is facing a persistent and clear danger from terrorism.

However, we cannot allow this to be an excuse for ever-more stringent restrictions on its people’s basic civil and human rights. I am very concerned about the increasing threats to freedom of the media and about the arrests and disappearance of journalists. The reported executions of almost 1 500 people during the past four years are also a deeply disturbing trend, particularly given that the vast majority of those concerned were tried in mass trials.

As we have learned in Europe, there is a constant tug between implementing meaningful counterterrorism measures and securing people’s basic freedoms. I’m sad to say that the balance in Egypt is now deeply questionable. A change of approach is sorely needed and it is one that the European Union must press for strongly.

Last updated: 5 April 2019Legal notice