April 24, 2019
Egypt is hosting an Africa human rights session beginning April 24, 2019, while its government is presiding over the worst human rights crisis in the country in recent decades, 15 African, Egyptian, and international organizations said today.
The 64th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), the African Union’s top rights body, will take place from April 24 to May 14 in Sharm al-Sheikh. In addition to its systematic failure to respect and protect human rights at home, Egypt has also led efforts to undermine the commission’s independence. The commission should strongly raise Egypt’s human rights abuses at the meeting.
“Egypt is trying to appear like a country open for human rights delegates and sessions while, at the same time, crushing all dissenting voices and its once-vibrant human rights community,” said Michael page, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “We know that many Egyptian and international organizations are not allowed to work freely in Egypt and cannot voice concerns without severe retaliation from the government.”
In September 2017, officials stopped Ibrahim Metwally, a lawyer and co-founder of the Associations of the Families of the Disappeared, from traveling for meetings with UN officials in Geneva. Security agencies arrested him at the airport and held him incommunicado for a few days. He is still held in “pretrial detention” for farcical charges.