As Egyptians are about to head to the polls to vote for their president, EuroMed Rights denounces these elections as a “masquerade” and castigates the repression under the current president including the manner in which potential candidates were intimidated out of the race.

Commenting on the issue, EuroMed Rights’ President, Michel Tubiana, says:

“It has become clear that after eliminating any real political opposition, Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi has secured his second presidential term, as indeed the legitimacy of his sole opponent, Mousa Mostafa Mousa being highly questionable. If there was any doubt that Egypt’s upcoming presidential elections would be neither free nor fair, this complete wipeout of potential presidential candidates has made it unmistakably obvious.

Not only has political opposition been silenced, so has the whole of civil society. Through several legal amendments and the continued state of emergency, Sisi has incited a draconian crackdown on people fighting for the right of the Egyptian people to exercise their fundamental freedoms. With the Counterterrorism Law of 2015, consistently used to shut down dissenting voices, and the most likely soon-to-be-implemented NGO Law criminalising the work of NGOs, it will soon be impossible for civil society organisations and human rights defenders to work independently, if at all.”

EuroMed Rights deeply regrets that the hope for change after the 2011 revolution has completely withered away. We disapprove that, amidst a seriously deteriorating human rights situation in the country, the EU decided to strengthen relations with Egypt holding an Association Agreement in July 2017 in contravention of the guiding principle of the agreement: a shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, the rule of law and the respect of human rights. Likewise, the EU has disregarded its own call for democracy and accountability in the country as stated in the EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Egypt of August 2013 and February 2014, dismissing the fact that Egypt has not complied with any of the stated priorities.

In this crucial moment, EuroMed Rights calls on the EU and all its Member States to publicly denounce these rubber stamp elections and to ensure that its financial support to Egypt is not used to curtail the fundamental rights of the Egyptian people.