Al-Sisi surrounded by human rights abuses during visit to France

By on October 24, 2017

The French government on Monday provided a boost to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, giving him a warm welcome to France, amid pressure and criticism from rights groups over Egypt’s human rights abuses.

The visit of the Egyptian leader will enable him to discuss subjects of common interest such as regional crises and the fight against terrorism, but also the human rights situation, the French presidency said.

Al-Sisi and Emmanuel Macron will attend the signing of 17 cooperation agreements in different fields, including in investment and the economy and arms purchases.

Ahead of Al-Sisi’s visit, human rights organizations at home and overseas have accused France, under Macron, of remaining silent in the face of increasing violations of freedoms by Al-Sisi’s administration.

At a press conference on Monday in Paris, Amnesty International has urged Macron to speak out about human rights.

The French presidency said in a statement that France is “particularly vigilant” about human rights issues.

Since the July 2013 coup that ousted elected President Mohamed Morsi, a police crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands in jail. Rights groups have repeatedly accused former army chief Al-Sisi of repressive policies against unarmed civilians.

Last year, a UN investigation found that Egypt engages in the continuous persecution of women, human rights activists and journalists. Human rights groups estimate that at least 40,000 political prisoners have been detained by Al-Sisi’s government.

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