NGOs Slam French President Emmanuel Macron’s Welcome for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Several human rights groups and non-governmental organizations have criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for welcoming Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Paris, following arrests of human rights activists in Egypt last November.

Several human rights groups and non-governmental organizations have criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for welcoming Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Paris, following arrests of human rights activists in Egypt last November.

Seventeen organizations in a joint statement urged Macron that it is “now or never” to stand up for human rights, accusing France for having “long indulged President al-Sisi’s brutal repression of any form of dissent,” as al-Sisi arrived in Paris last Dec. 6 for a three-day state visit in response to Macron’s invitation.

The organizations called for Macron to address the human rights violations in Egypt and demanded the release of the three members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights who were detained last November after meeting with foreign diplomats.

The French government condemned the arrests in a statement released last November, but the organizations have called it “meaningless.”

“For President Macron to receive President al-Sisi in France repeatedly without Egypt releasing activists and human rights defenders, and in fact arresting more of them, would contradict significant voices within Macron’s own political movement,” the organizations stated, citing that majority of the French Parliament who signed an open letter addressed to al-Sisi for the release of the detained activists were from Macron’s party.

According to French and Egyptian officials, al-Sisi’s visit and talks with French politicians, including French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian last Dec. 6 and Macron on Dec. 7, were to strengthen economic and military ties between their two countries.


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