European MEPs call for Alaa Abdel Fattah release, slam Egypt's 'repression' of activists, journalists

European MEPs call for Alaa Abdel Fattah release, slam Egypt's 'repression' of activists, journalists
2 min read
29 November, 2022
Members of the European Parliament have condemned Egypt's oppression of civil society and demanded the release of British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah.
A European parliament resolution was issued on 23 November condemning Egypt's repression of activists and journalists [Getty]

Members of the European Parliament have condemned Egypt’s oppression of civil society as they reflected on the COP27 UN climate summit held in Egypt earlier this month. 

MEPs called for the release of jailed British Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and other civilians who have been "detained arbitrarily" and criticised the crackdown on free speech at the Sharm El-Sheikh event documented by activists.

The summit, which was held from 6-18 November, attracted considerable condemnation of Cairo’s repression of government critics, activists, journalists, and non-governmental organisations, as many activists slammed the event as "greenwashing".

"There is a shrinking space for civil society which was there in Sharm el-Sheikh. People were intimidated, harassed... We… were harassed at the entrance where we are only making the claim that political prisoners should be freed," Dutch MEP Bas Eickhout said.

"The testimony of activists in Egypt is really quite frightening… we must call and add our call to the call of this parliament for Alaa Abdel Fattah to be released and freed from his illegal detention," Irish MEP Clare Daly stated.

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"Attending the COP last week in Egypt, we heard testimony about Sisi’s brutal crackdown on activists and journalists who live in constant fear for their lives… the harassment even extended to attendees of the climate summit," another Irish MEP Mike Wallace said.

A European parliament resolution was issued Wednesday condemning "the Egyptian authorities’ censorship, harassment and intimidation of representatives of Egypt’s civil society… on international UN premises."

The resolution also urged "the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release British-Egyptian human rights defender and peaceful activist Alaa Abdel Fattah" who has been in prison for much of the last nine years.

Egyptian authorities have slammed the EU statement as "biased" and inaccurate.

"The resolution was built on a package of inaccuracies and false allegations that have nothing to do with reality and reflect only a biased and subjective view of the reality of the situation in Egypt," read an Egyptian parliamentary statement issued on Sunday.