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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Egypt, in particular the case of the activists of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)

15.12.2020 - (2020/2912(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure

Michael Gahler, Christian Sagartz, Isabel Wiseler‑Lima, Miriam Lexmann, Tomáš Zdechovský, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska, Vladimír Bilčík, Inese Vaidere, Tomas Tobé, Krzysztof Hetman, Romana Tomc, Magdalena Adamowicz, Ivan Štefanec, Benoît Lutgen, Janina Ochojska, Eva Maydell, Luděk Niedermayer, Jiří Pospíšil, Stanislav Polčák, Peter van Dalen, Ioan‑Rareş Bogdan, Peter Pollák
on behalf of the PPE Group

Förfarande : 2020/2912(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Egypt, in particular the case of the activists of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)


The European Parliament,


-  having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt,

-  having regard to the EU-Egypt Association Agreement,

-  having regard to the EU Neighbourhood Policy and the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities,

-  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

-  having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

-  having regard to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

-  having regard to the Rule 144 of its Rules of Procedure,

  1. whereas Egypt is an important partner of the EU and whereas EU-Egypt relations span a multitude of important areas, ranging from energy, science and cultural cooperation to the combat against international terrorism,
  2. whereas various human rights groups have reported about the deteriorating situation of human rights activists given increased pressure on civil society organisation, NGOs and journalists,
  3. whereas the Egyptian legislation permits a pre-trial custody of up to two years, and whereas in some cases, even after the two years of pre-trial custody has passed, the period is extended in certain cases through the introduction of different charges, all without the commencement of the actual trial,
  4. whereas media freedom in Egypt has been declining over the past years given the restricted space for journalists and the increased accumulation of market share by large media companies,
  5. whereas journalists are increasingly persecuted and face detentions, threats, and intimidation, including their family members, and whereas Egypt is one of the countries with highest number of imprisoned journalists,
  6. whereas on 20 September 2020, the brother of journalist Khaled al-Balshy was arrested arbitrarily under dubious circumstances,
  7. whereas on 3 November a group of 13 diplomats, some of them from EU Member States, at their request, attended a briefing by the EIPR,
  8. whereas in the days following the meeting, Gasser Abdel Razek, the director of EIPR, Karim Ennarah, the director of criminal justice at the EIPR, as well as Mohamed Basheer, the administration manager of the organisation, were arrested on the charge of "joining a terrorist organization" and spreading "false news" that "undermine public security”,
  9. whereas various activists have been detained on similar charges over the past years,
  10. whereas many activists, even if released prior to their trials, face intimidation and travel restrictions afterwards,
  11. whereas several UN, the EEAS as well as European ministries have expressed their concern and condemnation about these arrests;
  12. whereas in October and November Egypt executed at least 57 men and women, nearly double the recorded 32 people executed in 2019,


  1. Expresses its concern about the deteriorating situation of human rights in Egypt and calls upon the Egyptian government to comply with all national and international legislation when it comes to the protection and advancement of human rights;
  2. Underlines the importance of a strong and well functioning civil society for any country and states its worry about repeated reports about intimidation and prosecution of civil rights activists, journalists and other NGOs;
  3. Deplores any violence used against activists and calls upon the Egyptian government to closely investigate all cases of alleged violence and to bring the perpetrators of any such acts to justice;
  4. Welcomes the important work of civil rights organisations such as the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights;
  5. Welcomes the recent decision to release the recently imprisoned leading staffers of the EIPR from pre-trial custody and calls upon the Egyptian government to ensure that their case will be dealt with in a transparent, fair and swift manner;
  6. Calls upon the Egyptian government to live up to its promises and pursue domestic reforms which protect civil rights activists, journalism, as well as their families, and to reform the long-held practice of arbitrarily and excessive pre-trial custody; calls for the release of Kamal al-Balshy, the brother of journalist Khaled al-Balshy, and strongly criticises Egypt for its low record of media freedom and the high number of imprisoned journalists;
  7. Calls for the continued inclusion of clear human rights focuses in the current negotiations about the “Partnership Priorities” of the next period of EU-Egypt cooperation after 2020;
  8. Reiterates its previous outrage about the brutal killing of Giulio Regeni five years ago, and renews its criticism of the Egyptian government for failing to investigate this appalling murder; welcomes the case launched by Italian prosecutors against four members of Egypt’s national security agency in relation to the murder and expresses its hope that this case will finally lead to justice;
  9. Urges the Egyptian government to issue a moratorium on the death penalty;
  10. Underlines the importance that the EU attaches to its cooperation with Egypt as an important neighbour and partner and therefore urges Egypt and the EU to further strengthen their cooperation in combatting international terrorism and as well as their joint efforts to advancing all aspects of human rights, including the freedom of expression, freedom of religion and belief;
  11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the European External Action Service, and the Government and parliament of Egypt.



Senaste uppdatering: 15 december 2020
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