Blueprint for Change in Egypt Urges New Course for Obama Administration
New York City – Tomorrow marks two years since the people of Egypt took to the streets for eighteen days of street protests that brought down their president of thirty years, Hosni Mubarak. As Egypt continues along its uncertain transition to democratic rule, Human Rights First urges the Obama Administration to visibly and intentionally promote rule of law, pluralistic democracy, and civil society.
“The administration should consciously move away from the failed policies of the past that too often traded promotion of universal values for vague and, ultimately, vacuous assurances of stability,” said Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks. “There is no real alternative for the U.S. government to supporting peaceful democratic change in Egypt. Continuing instability and a slide into chaos would be calamitous.”
The U.S. government can take a number of steps to make change in Egypt a human rights success story. The administration should respond to the radical changes underway in Egypt with an equally radical reconfiguration of the bilateral relationship that takes into account the new realities of Egyptian government and society, and the needs of the democratic society that the United States should be working to ensure that Egypt becomes.
Human Rights First’s recently released Blueprint for the Next Administration: How to Make Change in Egypt a Human Rights Success Story outlines several recommendations for the U.S. government. These recommendations include:
- Review the bilateral relationship with Egypt and restructure it to meet the challenges of new political conditions in Egypt and to promote Egypt’s transition to democracy.
- Reposition the role of the U.S. Embassy as a partner to both a democratic government and to civil society.
- Promote values that are at the foundation of democratic society, yet are in danger of being rejected or ignored in a new Egypt, including: women’s equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and internet freedom.
- Deepen support for civil society.
- Continue to provide military assistance to Egypt, in accordance with the security interests of both countries, and dependent on Egypt’s military not interfering or obstructing the democratic transition.