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Thursday, 15 July 2021

US “concerned” about Egypt human right record

Human rights is leading the agenda in the foreign press this morning: The US State Department is “concerned” about the targeting of civil society members, academics and journalists in Egypt, and has asked the government not to detain individuals including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights’ Hossam Bahgat for “expressing their views peacefully," US state department spokesperson Ned Price said in a presser yesterday (watch, runtime 1:13). Bahgat said this week that he had been indicted by the Public Prosecutor for spreading rumors and criticizing the National Election Authority on social media. Price refused to comment on whether it could affect US arms sales to Egypt. Reuters and AFP both have the story.

Meanwhile: Reuters reports that the Court of Cassation has rejected an appeal by 13 people to have their names removed from a terrorist list, citing a judicial source. The individuals include Palestinian-Egyptian activist Ramy Shaath, who was arrested in July 2019, and human rights activist Zyad Elelaimy, who was arrested a month earlier. The group was ordered to be added to the terrorism list for five years starting April 2020 after being accused of inciting against the state.

Egypt also gets a mention in the Financial Times: Author Mark C O’Flaherty describes his stopover experience in Egypt, which turned out to be an enjoyable visit despite worries about covid-19.

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