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The Chair of the EP Subcommittee on Human Rights, Pier Antonio Panzeri, condemns the harassment of Egyptian human rights defenders in reprisal for their meeting with French President Macron.

“I express full solidarity with the prominent Egyptian human rights defenders who are being harassed and pressured since their meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

It is indeed unacceptable that Mohamed Zaree (Egyptian office of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)), Gamal Eid (Arab Network for Human Rights Information) (ANHRI), Mohamed Lotfy (Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)) and Gasser Abdel Razeq (Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)) are facing smear and judicial campaign investigations.

No one is fooled. This is a clear attempt of intimidation against critical and dissident voices with the goal of silencing or discouraging human rights defenders from speaking to any high-level foreign interlocutor or to international organisations.

Egypt is backsliding every day into an authoritarian regime. However, Egypt’s reputation abroad will never be damaged by those brave human rights defenders committed to their country. We must continue to support their valuable contribution to the empowerment of a dynamic, tolerant and democratic Egypt.”