Sisi says 'Western human rights' not applicable to Egypt
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that Egypt's human rights record should not be viwed from a "Western perspective".
The comments came as Sisi met US Republican senators headed by Senator James Risch in Sharm el-Sheikh on Sunday.
During the meeting, Sisi claimed that the Egyptian government is commited to promoting democratic values but given current local and regional conditions, Cairo must not be judged according to US standards, Tahrir News reported.
Risch is said to have praised Sisi for his commitment to economic development in Egypt and counter-terrorism efforts, saying Egypt still plays a pivotal role in stabilising the region.
Since taking office in June 2014, Sisi has been widely criticised by human rights groups for restricting free speech, arresting thousands of political opponents, and torture and killings by police.
Human Rights Watch have accused the Egyptian president of providing "near total impunity for security forces abuses".
He presides over a government curtailing civil and political rights and erasing the human rights' achievements of the 2011 revolution, the NGO has said, using the pretext of "stabalising" Egypt to turn back the clock on freedom.
"What makes it worse is that Western governments that subordinated human rights in their relations with Egypt during the Mubarak era seem ready to repeat their mistake," said Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch's deputy Middle East and North Africa director last year.