Sisi visits Germany despite protests

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi begins his Germany visit despite official and public protests

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Welcomed by German President Joachim Gauck, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi has arrived in Berlin capital of Germany despite official and public protests against the death sentence of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

Upon the call of right groups, many protesters gathered in front of Adlon Hotel, where Egyptian president will stay during his three-day visit.

Rights groups also called for a major rally in front of the German parliament on Wednesday.

A joint conference is expected to be held by Sisi and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

After the former President Mohamed Mursi was deposed and jailed with more than 100 of his Muslim Brotherhood supporters, Parliament President of Germany, Norbert Lammert has turned down a meeting with Sisi.

"Despite expectations from Egypt to schedule a date for the long-awaited parliamentary elections, what we are witnessing in recent months is systematic persecution of opposition groups, mass arrests, convictions to lengthy prison terms and an incredible number of death sentences, which include former parliament speaker al Katatni,” Lammert’s office said in a statement.

"Given this situation, which contributes neither to domestic peace nor to the democratisation of the country, Lammert sees for the time being no ground for a meeting with President el Sisi."

While Merkel's government is interested in starting a sustainable relationship with one of the Arab world's biggest players, this invitation was strictly criticiaed by Germany’s main opposition Left Party.

“The state visit of el Sisi is a blow to all who stand up for human rights,” lawmaker Christine Buchholz said in a statement on Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and some other organisations asked Merkel to clearly set a political roadmap between Germany and Egypt dependent on changes in Egypt’s policy and law in human rights.

A statement accompanying the letter quoted Wenzel Michalski, Germany director at Human Rights Watch and a signatory of the letter, as saying "German authorities are well aware of the terrible human rights situation in Egypt today."

“Chancellor Merkel should speak out against Egyptian government policies like shutting down peaceful protests and mass arrests solely for alleged sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood," he added.

TRTWorld and agencies