Motion for a resolution - B9-0533/2022Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the human rights situation in Egypt

21.11.2022 - (2022/2962(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Commission
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Petras Auštrevičius, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Katalin Cseh, Vlad Gheorghe, Klemen Grošelj, Bernard Guetta, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Nathalie Loiseau, Karen Melchior, Urmas Paet, Nicolae Dragoş Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Ramona Victoria Strugariu, Ioan Dragoş Tudorache, Hilde Vautmans
on behalf of the Renew Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0505/2022

Procedure : 2022/2962(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Egypt


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Egypt,

 having regard to the statements by the European External Action Service Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on Egypt,

 having regard to the latest statement by the Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Egypt,

 having regard to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of Egypt for 2019-2020,

 having regard to the statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 8 November 2022 calling for the immediate release of Alaa Abdel Fattah,

 having regard to the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, on Torture, on Freedom of Expression and on Human Rights Defenders,

 having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, all of which have been ratified by Egypt,

 having regard to the Constitution of Egypt, notably its Article 52 on the prohibition of all forms of torture, Article 73 on freedom of assembly and Article 93 on the binding character of international human rights law,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Egypt hosted the UN’s 2022 Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh; whereas this international event put the spotlight on Egypt’s domestic repression against peaceful and legitimate voices of civil society;

B. whereas in 2021 Egypt launched its National Human Rights Strategy and its National Dialogue, which officially aimed to improve its human rights record and establish a more inclusive political environment;

C. whereas Egypt did not amend any relevant pieces of legislation ahead of its hosting of COP27, including the right to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly or association and media freedom; whereas the state of emergency, in force since 2017, was not lifted; whereas mass trials and mass detention continue, with military and emergency state security courts trying tens of thousands of civilians; whereas on 8 July 2021 the UN’s Special Rapporteurs on the rights to freedom of assembly and association, on human rights defenders and on the protection of human rights while countering terrorism jointly expressed their concerns over Egypt’s 2019 NGO Law, its 2018 Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law, the 2015 Terrorist Entities Law and the 2013 Law on Public Meetings and Peaceful Demonstrations;

D. whereas human rights defender Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who has been arbitrarily detained for most of the past decade on unsubstantiated charges, interrupted his hunger strike in November 2022, which he started in April 2022, after a near-death experience in his prison cell; whereas since the beginning of COP27 he had also stopped drinking water;

E. whereas women’s rights defenders, LGBTI individuals, as well as Coptic rights defenders are still being harassed, intimidated, arrested and detained, such as in the case of Patrick George Zaki, who is still under a travel ban after criticising his government’s policy towards Coptic Christians, and in that of women social media influencers Haneen Hossam and Mawada Al Adham, who were sentenced to three and two years in prison on trumped up morality charges in 2020 after casually dancing in TikTok videos;

F. whereas the EU is Egypt’s most important economic partner and its main source of foreign investment; whereas in June 2017 the EU and Egypt adopted partnership priorities in many areas including security, counter-terrorism and judiciary reform;

1. Deeply deplores the continued lack of basic political rights and freedoms in Egypt, including in the context of the holding of the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference COP27 at Sharm El-Sheikh; regrets that the human rights situation did not improve ahead of COP27;

2. Condemns in the strongest terms the Egyptian authorities’ censorship, harassment and intimidation of representatives of Egypt’s civil society, which has taken place even on international UN premises; conveys its support to the Government of Germany, which lodged a complaint on 13 November 2022 against the Egyptian authorities over the excessive security surveillance of participants in the German pavilion of COP27; deplores that independent Egyptian NGOs were refused a one-time registration to COP27 and that only a handful managed to attend and only thanks to the fact that international organisations gave them their own badges; deplores the selection by the Egyptian authorities of civil society organisations that do not criticise the authorities; underlines that, as legitimate stakeholders, local communities and NGOs from Sinai should have been allowed to take part in COP27, as it was taking place in Sinai; deplores Egypt’s secret process using undisclosed selection criteria to exclude critical human rights NGOs;

3. Firmly condemns the continued arbitrary detention of tens of thousands of prisoners of conscience in Egypt, many of whom are detained in inhuman conditions without access to a fair trial or basic rights, as evidenced in Egypt’s political prisons at Wadi Natroun and Badr; notes that a small fraction of Egypt’s political prisoners were released or pardoned in April 2022, with the release of 800-1000 prisoners from arbitrary pre-trial detention; highlights that even more Egyptians have been arbitrarily arrested and detained since then, according to Egyptian NGOs and Amnesty International;

4. Urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Mohamed ‘Oxygen’ Ibrahim, Mohamed Adel, Alaa Abdel Fattah, the three lawyers that are the 2020 recipients of the human rights award of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, Mohamed El Baqer and Hoda Abdelmoniem, as well as Ezzat Ghoneim, Ahmed Amasha, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Mohamed El Kassas, Ziad Abu El Fadl, Aisha El Shater, Mohamed Abo Houraira, Manal Agrama, Marwa Arafa, Hala Fahmy, Safaa El Korbagy, Tawfik Ghanim, Seif Thabit, Safwan Thabit, Sherif al Rouby, Anas El-Beltagy, Ahmed Douma, Mohamed Adel Fahmy, Nermin Hussein, Haneen Hossam, Mawadda el-Adham, Ismail Iskandarani, Seif Fateen, Hisham Genena, Omar Mohammed Ali, Aymen Moussa, Omar el Hout, Ahmed Moussa Abd El Khaleq, Yehia Helwa and Ahmed Fayez, among many others unjustly detained; stresses that those women and men are Egyptian human rights defenders, journalists, peaceful activists and politicians, women social media influencers or businessmen who refused to sell their assets to the military;

5. Urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release human rights defender and peaceful activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a Deutsche Welle and Reporters Without Borders award recipient, who has been arbitrarily detained for most of the past decade on unsubstantiated charges, for his peaceful and legitimate calls for more rights and freedoms and who is far from being an isolated case; highlights that both Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz and France’s President Emmanuel Macron have called for his release;

6. Reiterates its utmost condemnation of the widespread use of torture by Egypt’s security apparatus; recalls that Egypt’s 25 January 2011 revolution started as a public outcry against police impunity following the torture and killing of blogger Khaled Said, among others; urges Egypt to fully cooperate with the Italian authorities’ investigation into the murder of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, who was tortured to death by security officials in 2016; condemns in the strongest terms the torture to death of economist Ayman Hadhoud, who died on 5 March 2022 while in custody after being forcibly disappeared and detained by security officials following his criticism of economic policies, and deeply deplores the lack of any independent and credible investigation by Egypt’s Public Prosecution;

7. Urges Egypt to release all 21 journalists who are currently in prison simply for doing their job, as documented by Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists; underlines the right of all Egyptians to access information without their government’s censorship; notes the decision, taken under pressure at the start of the COP27 conference, to allow access to some websites of human rights NGOs and independent newspapers such as Medium, Mada Masr or Human Rights Watch; stresses, however, that such websites should always remain accessible to Egyptians even after the conference;

8. Urges the Egyptian authorities therefore to release all journalists who were detained as of November 2022: Khaled Abdelwahab Radwan, Ahmed Fayez, Alaa Abdelfattah, Ismail Alexandrani, Mohamed Ibrahim (aka Mohamed Oxygen), Ahmed Allaam, Hamdi al-Zaeem, Tawfik Ghanem, Rabie al-Sheikh, Adallah Shusha, Khaled Sahloob, Bahaa al-Din Ibrahim Nemat Allah, Hisham Abdel Aziz, Mohamed Said Fahmy, Badr Mohamed Badr, Raouf Ebeid, Mostafa Saad, Mohamed Mostafa Moussa, Mahmoud Saad Diab and Amr Shnin;

9. Urges Egypt to respect basic international standards on freedom of association and to repeal its repressive NGO Law 149/2019, which subordinates all activities under the Interior Ministry; shares the concerns expressed by UN human rights experts on Egypt’s legal arsenal to curtail freedom of association, of expression, of the press and the right to peaceful assembly under the pretext of fighting terrorism; urges Egypt to also amend or repeal its 2018 Anti-Cyber and Information Technology Crimes Law, its 2015 Terrorist Entities Law and the 2013 Law on Public Meetings and Peaceful Demonstrations; calls on the Egyptian authorities once again to close case 173/2011, known as ‘the Foreign funding case’, and lift all travel bans and assets freezes against 31 employees of human rights NGOs;

10. Urges Egypt to abolish the death penalty, and declare an immediate moratorium on its application; deplores Egypt’s rise over the past decade as one of the world’s worst offenders on capital punishment, having even executed children;

11. Reiterates its call on all EU Member States and the EU delegation to attend the trials of Egyptian and foreign human rights defenders, journalists and trade unionists and to visit them in detention;

12. Urges the EU Member States to support a monitoring and reporting mechanism on grave human rights violations in Egypt at the UN Human Rights Council; reiterates its call for the EU to mainstream human rights concerns in all its high-level exchanges with Egyptian officials, including the EU-Egypt Association Council;

13. Urges all EU Member States to fully abide by the Council conclusions of 21 August 2013 announcing the suspension of export licences for any equipment used for internal repression, including surveillance technology used to track down dissenting voices;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States and the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt.


Last updated: 22 November 2022
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