Sisi seeks German support amid human rights violations

Human rights groups urged Germany to pressure over Egypt as its President Sisi visits Berlin in order to get support from German government

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Human rights organisations Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called German leaders on Monday to use their influence over Egypt's controversial government to terminate human rights violations when the President Abdel Fattah el Sisi visited Berlin on Tuesday.

The right groups wanted the German government on Monday to raise its concerns over Cairo’s  abysmal human rights records by demanding moratorium of the death penalty sentences that were recently given to members of the Muslim Brotherhood, most notably to the country’s deposed president Mohamed Morsi.

"Germany should continue to freeze transfers of arms and security-related items that can be used for repression until Egypt investigates and brings to justice the security forces responsible for unlawful killings of hundreds of protesters," Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said on Monday, in an open letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The government headed by President Sisi presides over the gravest human rights crisis Egypt in decades,” the rights group stated in the letter.

The letter has been also signed by other international rights groups such as, International human Front Line Defenders, World Organization Against Torture and Euro‐Mediterranean Human Rights Network.

“We urge you in the strongest terms to make […] that the nature and extent of Germany’s relations with Egypt going forward will depend on the Egyptian authorities taking prompt and concrete measures to put an end to government policies that systematically violate Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law,” the letter added.

During his two days of official visit to Berlin, the formerly army chief Egyptian president is scheduled to meet with the German Chancellor Merkel and the president Joachim Gauck in order to boost economic, military and security cooperation, according to Sisi's office.

Sisi came to office in June 2014, a year after what the Muslim Brotherhood and a few countries in the world, including Turkey and Qatar, called a “military coup” that was orchestrated by him in July 2013 and overthrew the country’s first democratically-elected civilian president Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi has faced a trial to 20 years in jail for al “Itihadeya” case in which he and other 14 Muslim Brotherhood leaders were accused of killing 10 protesters and “exercising excessive power” outside Itihadeya Palace in December 2012 and that the recent verdict approved his death sentence which was postponed by a court in Cairo until June 16.

Since the military coup established Egypt's new government under General Sisi, Egyptian courts issued more than 742 death sentences against alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood and their supporters, according to reports released by the Amnesty International.

The right groups as well as the  Organisation of Muslim Brotherhood have been accusing Sisi’s new Egyptian government of the killings of at least 2600 people and arresting of almost 41,000 people in violence and crackdown of the following 18 months after Morsi was deposed in July 2013.

As it was officially-announced last month, some German politicians and opposition leaders had rejected Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el Sisi’s visit to Germany following the recent mass death sentences and human rights violations in the country.

The German parliament’s president Norbert Lammert cancelled the planned meeting with Sisi due to the “lack of any subject” to be discussed with him upon the verdicts of capital punishments.

A spokesman for the Green party in the Bundestag also said Sisi should not be welcomed in Berlin unless new parliamentary elections take place in Egypt.


TRTWorld and agencies