Human Rights First Disappointed with Egypt Aid Decision
WASHINGTON – Human Rights First today condemned the Biden administration’s decision not to permanently withhold any of the U.S. military financing to Egypt, which Congress has conditioned on improvements in that country’s appalling human rights record.
“All you need to know about today’s decision is that Egypt’s generals will be rejoicing, and its human rights defenders will be devastated,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “The Biden administration has picked a side and emboldened this repressive regime. Egyptian human rights activists will have to live with the terrible consequences.”
In July, Human Rights First released a report detailing how impunity for abuse and torture in the Egyptian prison system fuels the recruitment of ISIS. While the Biden administration is asking Egypt to drop bogus criminal charges against a limited number of activists before it provides a final tranche of the restricted funds, it disregarded Congress’s directive to use this leverage to press Egyptian authorities to hold their security forces accountable.
“The United States remains so inexplicably beholden to Egypt’s military dictatorship that it won’t stop enabling a so-called ‘partner’ whose abuses are fueling terrorism,” added Dooley.
“This is a profoundly disappointing decision,” said Adam Keith, Human Rights First’s Senior Advisor for Accountability. “It sends the wrong signal to all those who had either hoped or feared that the Biden administration would take more seriously the abuses of its partners.”