Biden administration approves arms sale to Egypt despite human rights concerns
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Biden administration approves arms sale to Egypt despite human rights concerns

The State Department said in a news release that the proposed sale of missiles and related equipment would “support the United States’ foreign policy and national security by helping to improve the security of a non-NATO ally. The key strategic partner in the Middle East . “

“The proposed sale will support the Egyptian Navy’s Fast Missile Craft ships and provide significant field defense capabilities on Egypt’s coastal areas and approaches to the Suez Canal,” the release said.

The proposed sale has spiked after continuing raids on the homes of relatives of Egyptian-American activist Mohammed Soltan, amid continuing concerns over Egypt’s human rights record. According to Solton’s nonprofit organization Freedom Initiative, two of his cousins ​​were arbitrarily detained.

Family member of US worker arrested in Egypt

His lawyer Eric Lewis said, “Mohammed Soltan is paying attention to the inefficiency and disregard for human rights under the current Egyptian rule. Now the Egyptian regime is trying to arrest his relatives.”

State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday that the State Department was looking into reports of these detections.

“We have and we continue to engage the Egyptian government on human rights concerns and we take all allegations of arbitrary arrests or detention seriously,” Price said. “We will bring our values ​​with us in every relationship that we have worldwide. This includes our close security partners. This includes Egypt.”

The Biden administration has emphasized the importance of emphasizing human rights in foreign policy. However, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has been accused of serious human rights abuses.

According to the state department 2019 country report On human rights practices in Egypt, those abuses include “unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents and terrorist groups; forcible disappearance; torture; arbitrary detention; harsh and life-threatening prison sentences.” Status; Political prisoners; Unlawful interference with privacy; Free expression, the worst form of restrictions on the press and the Internet, including arrests or prosecutions against journalists, censorship, site blocking, and the existence of uncomplicated criminal libel, with rights to peaceful assembly Adequate intervention; Freedom of association, such as highly restrictive laws governing civil society organizations; Ban on political participation; Violence involving religious minorities; Violence targeting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals; Arbitrary The use of law to arrest and prosecute in a manner; the people of LGBTI; and the coercion or coercion of child labor. “
In January 2020, an American citizen – Mustafa Kasem – died in Egyptian custody.

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