The Hill: Take a thorough look at human rights abuses in Egypt

Op-ed by Brian Dooley.

Though it is perhaps the most high-profile abuse of power against civil society, the NGO case is only part of Egypt’s attack on human rights and democracy activists. It’s a crackdown that is epitomized by a frightening proposed piece of legislation severely restricting how NGOs will be able to operate. That legislation is likely to become law soon. In addition, widespread attacks on the media and the independence of the judiciary are increasing. My reports from March and May of this year describe attacks on Egyptian civil society and detail steps the U.S. government ought to do about them.

As subcommittee members hear from witnesses facing the consequences of these abuses, I hope they’ll pose a series of questions about what the administration should do to turn the tide in Egypt.  For example, instead of Secretary Kerry’s muted response to last week’s verdicts that failed to mention any consequences for the ruling, should the United States condemn the politically motivated verdicts and call on Egypt to pardon the 43 NGO workers? Should the United States increase support to independent civil society activists in Egypt, especially those working to promote human rights and basic freedoms? Should the United States announce a suspension of any funding to the Morsi government until it commits to promoting a democratic transition there?



Published on June 10, 2013


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