HRW Criticises Sisi’s ‘Year of Abuse’, Egypt Says Report Is ‘Politicised’

A report released by Human Rights Watch on abuses during President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s first year in power is “politicised and lacks the simplest rules of accuracy and objectivity,” Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The ministry condemned the report in the gest terms, criticising HRW’s “lack of credibility” in the process.

In its report, published on Monday, HRW accused Sisi and his cabinet of “erasing the human rights gains of the 2011 uprising that ousted the longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.”

The report addressed human rights abuses it said Egypt witnessed throughout the past year, ranging from mass arrests to abuse in detentions, mass trials, military trials for civilians, death sentences and eviction of Sinai residents to make way for a border “buffer zone”.

HRW accused Sisi’s administration of “governing by decree in the absence of an elected parliament”, issuing a “raft of laws that severely curtailed civil and political rights” and of providing security forces with “near total impunity” for abuses.

“The Sisi government is acting as though to restore stability Egypt needs a dose of repression the likes of which it hasn’t seen for decades, but its treatment is killing the patient,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa HRW director.

The organisation called on the United States and European governments to stop “overlooking Egyptian government abuses.”

The Egyptian government however said HRW lacks credibility among the Egyptian public as well as several countries due to its “consistent habit of promoting lies and false, baseless information based on inaccurate data which is not documented.”

“The subjective reports HRW has been in the habit of issuing on Egypt since the June 30 revolution confirm that this organisation directly targets the Egyptian people and their will to achieve their aspirations,” the Foreign Ministry statement read.

The ministry accused HRW of “leading a systematic campaign against Egypt,” and of “supporting terrorist operations and practices as well as those who commit violent acts.” It said the organisation is “suspiciously silent” in the face of “terrorist operations which target unarmed civilians, military men, army men and the judiciary.”

HRW is working in line with an “agenda which contradicts with the interests of the Egyptian people,” the ministry said.

HRW addressed in its report “insurgent” attacks in North Sinai, which rose significantly since the military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in July 2013, following mass protests against his rule.

“Attacks on police and government infrastructure have also become common in mainland Egypt,” the report read. “The government has responded by clearing a kilometer-wide buffer zone on the border with the Gaza Strip, trying thousands of civilians in military courts, and arresting those who dissent.”

Egypt has long been critical of reports issued by HRW on its human rights record.

In August 2014, HRW Executive Director Kenneth Roth and Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson were denied entry at the Cairo International Airport and forced to fly back.

Roth and Whitson were travelling to Cairo to attend the release of an HRW report on the forcible dispersal of two pro-Mursi encampments in 2013 which the organisation described as “the most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history.”

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior said that the HRW delegation did not secure an entry visa into Egypt.

Source : Aswat Masriya