Egypt: Speech on behalf of HR/VP Borrell in the EP plenary on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Egypt

December 18, 2020
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Mr President, Honourable Members of the European Parliament,

We pay close attention to human rights developments in Egypt (..). In September 2020 at the 45th United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the EU raised various human rights issues in Egypt under Item 4, including a call to release human rights defenders.

The recent arrests of the director and staff members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the EIPR, underlined once more the worrying situation in this regard.

We welcome as a first step the release of the three EIPR staff members on the 3rd of December, while reiterating our call for the release of Mr George Patrick Zaki, an EIPR researcher, who remains in detention since February 2020.

We have also noted that the challenges mentioned take place against positive developments on social and economic rights, (..).

The protection and promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law are guiding principles of our external action and policies. The new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024, approved in November, reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to further advancing universal values for all.

These commitments also have a central place in the framework for our political engagement and cooperation with Egypt. (..) The EU has a clear interest in Egypt’s long term stability and security. This can only be achieved if human rights are fully implemented and upheld. This remains the guiding thought in our bilateral dialogue with Egypt within the framework of our partnership.

Thank you.


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Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2020-2024

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Countries covered:

  • Egypt
Human Rights