15. April 2016 · Kommentare deaktiviert für „Upping the Pressure on Egypt“ – NYT · Kategorien: Ägypten, Deutschland, Frankreich · Tags: , , ,

Quelle: New York Times

Human rights abuses in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have reached new highs, yet the Western governments that trade with and arm Egypt have continued to pursue business as usual with the argument that regional security and economic interests trump all. Now, a stalled investigation into the abduction and murder of an Italian student has forced at least one of these countries, Italy, to reconsider its relationship. It is time for other Western democracies to reconsider theirs.

The brunt of Mr. Sisi’s crackdown has, of course, fallen on Egyptians, thousands of whom have been arrested, and many tortured and killed. Among the victims was Giulio Regeni, an Italian doctoral student at Cambridge University, whose badly battered body bearing all the hallmarks of the methods used by Egypt’s security forces was found on a roadside on Feb. 3, nine days after he mysteriously disappeared off a Cairo street.

Like the United States, France and Britain, Italy has been counting on Egypt to help stop the spread of the Islamic State and deal with the chaos in Libya. Italy is also one of Egypt’s largest trading partners. But public outrage in Italy over Mr. Regeni’s death and a joint investigation with Egyptian authorities that is going nowhere is forcing the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to take action. Last Friday, Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultations over next steps after the investigation into Mr. Regeni’s death hit a wall of Egyptian lies and obfuscations, including preposterous claims that Mr. Regeni died in a car crash and, when that didn’t fly, that he was robbed by a criminal gang.

Italy has asked other European governments to put pressure on Egypt. On Tuesday, the British government finally called for “a full and transparent investigation” into Mr. Regeni’s murder — but it did so only after a petition signed by more than 10,000 people forced it to respond. There has been shameful silence from France, whose president, François Hollande, travels to Cairo on Monday to sign a $1.1 billion weapons deal.

The deal would defy a resolution adopted by the European Parliament last month calling for “an E.U.-wide ban on export of any form of security equipment and military aid to Egypt” in response to the “chilling message” of Mr. Regeni’s death in a “climate of near-total impunity.” It is time to back this up with action. The E.U. resolution provides a detailed list of measures European countries should take. A failure to follow through on these can only give the green light to further brutalities by the Sisi regime.

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