Washington, D.C. - Following today's Egyptian Court decision to drop murder charges against former President Hosni Mubarak for his role in the deaths of hundreds of protesters during the 2011 uprising resulting in his overthrow, Human Rights First's Brian Dooley issued the following statement:
"Today's court decision is further confirmation that the due process of law is dead in Egypt, and that impunity for human rights violators has become standard. While human rights activists are vigorously harassed and jailed by the courts, perpetrators of large scale acts of repression have their charges dropped or are never brought to trial in the first place.
"Recent weeks have seen the U.S. ally become even more authoritarian. Washington has backed a series of repressive regimes in Egypt and none have delivered the stability the region needs. Today's decision shows how far Egypt is from living by the rule of law, and should sound alarm bells among American government officials."
In recent months, the Egyptian government has led a campaign to crack down on civil society groups and quash political dissent. In September of this year, President Sisi signed into law harsh new penalties targeting human rights activists and civil society groups that accept foreign funds for activities deemed to “harm the national interest.” The Egyptian government has continued to use excessive force against protesters, imprisoned thousands of political dissidents and several journalists, and held unfair trials leading to harsh sentences. The crackdown has left more than 2000 protesters dead while tens of thousands more are in prison, many detained without charge for extended periods and subjected to torture and inhumane conditions.
Human Rights First continues to urge the United States to reshape its side of the bilateral relationship with Egypt to promote a path toward stability and a human rights respecting democracy in Egypt. The organization also urges the United States to honor the pledge made by President Obama to continue and enhance its support for independent civil society organizations, especially those seeking to promote and defend human rights and to hold the government to account.
For more information or to speak with Dooley, contact Mary Elizabeth Margolis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212-845-5269.