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EU to undertake a comprehensive review of its relations with Egypt

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Mr Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative/ Vice-President European Commission

Foreign Affairs Ministers, EU Member States

Joint open letter to the EU and its member states

Dear High Representative,

Dear Foreign Ministers,

We are writing ahead of the January 25th Foreign Affairs Council discussion on Egypt to raise our serious concerns, once again, about the human rights crisis unfolding in the country, and to urge the EU and its member states to take the long overdue steps needed to signal that Egypt’s disregard for human rights will no-longer be tolerated.

As we near the 10th anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the hopes for freedom and human rights-oriented reform that led Egyptians to take to the streets almost a decade ago, have been shattered by years of brutal repression and a relentless crackdown on any form of dissent. In a letter sent to you nearly one year ago, international human rights NGOs urged the EU to undertake a comprehensive review of its relations with Egypt given the sustained and unprecedented crackdown on human rights in the country. This request echoed previous calls by the European Parliament, most recently reiterated in a December 2020 urgency resolution responding to Egypt’s spiralling levels of repression and the arrests of prominent human rights activists. These repeated calls and the authorities’ increasingly brazen disregard for EU concerns on human rights, illustrate the urgent need for a thorough review of EU-Egypt relations.