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Sunday, 31 July 2022

Human rights dominates foreign coverage as state pardons political prisoners

Human rights is again leading the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi on Friday pardoned eight people including journalist Hisham Fouad and anthropologist Ahmed Samir, the Associated Press and AFP report. In a piece that ran before the announcement, Reuters reports that some critics think the presidential amnesty committee responsible for the pardons needs to move faster as the ongoing national dialogue process unfolds.

Alaa Abdel Fattah was not among those released, and his case is again attracting media attention this morning after several US Democratic lawmakers, along with human rights watchdog Amnesty, expressed solidarity with British lawmakers demanding Alaa’s release, the Associated Press reported. The Egyptian-British citizen has been on hunger strike for over 100 days. The news comes as the Egyptian prosecution denied in an official statement that the prominent activist has been mistreated in prison after his family shared concerns over his health status. Separately, Alaa’s sister, Sanaa Seif, told Deutsche Welle of her disappointment that German lawmakers didn’t “rock the boat” and advocate for the release of her brother.

Also making headlines:

  • Activists and environmentalists are voicing concerns that Egypt’s hosting of COP27 will be used to “whitewash human rights abuses in the country”. (The Guardian)
  • Residents of Alexandria held a mass funeral for Youssef Radi, a young sweets vendor — known for his stylish outfits and delicious Freska — who was killed in a road accident last Wednesday. (Gulf News)

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