US Supports Egyptian Tyranny
by Stephen Lendman
Egypt’s ruling junta is an illegitimate coup d’etat fascist dictatorship. In June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) accused its self-anointed strongman General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (a US War College graduate) of “flagrant abuse(s) of human rights since” seizing power in July 2013 by brute force and rigging an election a year later to become president.
Rule is by violence and intimidation. No regime opposition is tolerated. An estimated 50,000 political prisoners languish in gulag hell. Many others were disappeared, murdered or sentenced to death by hanging judges.
Many die in police custody. Others are tortured to death in prison. No justice whatever exists.
Torture and other abuses are standard practice. “Take care when you are demanding your rights,” Sisi said earlier. Peaceful gatherings “of a public nature” aren’t tolerated.
Anyone arrested faces prison terms up to 15 years or longer – in Egypt a virtual death sentence for many.
Human rights workers and independent journalists are targeted. Muslim Brotherhood members are considered terrorists. Thousands were imprisoned or killed.
Anyone challenging junta human rights abuses or governance by diktat faces likely arrest and imprisonment on trumped up charges.
Egypt’s Terrorist Entities Law calls a terrorist anyone “who led, managed, established, was a member of, or provided information or support” to a “terrorist entity.” It’s whatever authorities intend it to be.
Anyone charged with ’harm(ing) national unity,” impeding public officials, challenging ruling authorities, or criticizing its policies may be designated a terrorist – no evidence needed, accusations suffice.
Ruthlessness defines Sisi rule – since mid-2014, by decree. Security forces operate unaccountably. HRW’s deputy Middle East and North Africa director Joe Stork said his repression is “the likes of which (Egypt) hasn’t seen for decades, but (he’s) killing the patient.”
“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.”
No security force member was held accountable for mass murdering post-July 2013 protesters – following the coup ousting Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely elected president.
As defense minister at the time, Sisi ordered brutal slaughter – weeks after the coup around 900 people in a single day. A regime controlled “fact-finding committee” released a summary of its findings in November last year. It recommended no independent investigation or punishment for responsible state parties.
Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali heads what HRW calls a “quasi-governmental” Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. It publishes annual reports on internal conditions.
Its latest one released in May said the “right to life witnessed horrible deterioration” in 2013 and 2014. Thousands were killed under Sisi rule.
A May US State Department report on Egypt said “a series of executive initiatives, new laws, and judicial actions severely restrict freedom of expression and the press, freedom of association, freedom of peaceful assembly, and due process, and they undermine prospects for democratic governance.”
Yet Washington maintains normal relations – including military aid in violation of US law prohibiting it for human rights violators. Israeli regimes receive lavish annual amounts despite it ruthless persecution of fundamental Palestinian rights.
EU nations operate the same way – turning a blind eye to brutality, supporting despots like Netanyahu, Sisi and numerous others.
“Continued silence from the United States and Europe legitimizes al-Sisi’s flawed logic that the state’s clampdown on its own citizens will yield stability,” HRW’s Stork said.
Egyptian prisons bulge with overcrowding. Thousands of innocent victims suffer inside. Torture and ill-treatment are commonplace. Scores die when administered.
Rubber-stamp courts automatically pronounce guilt and long sentences. Justice is systematically denied. Muslim Brotherhood members continue being ruthlessly treated – hundreds sentenced to death, many others got life sentences, in all cases for legitimate political activities, not criminality.
Many civilians are tried in military courts, including children. Sisi’s Egypt is one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships. Washington affords it full support.
On August 2 from Cairo, John Kerry praised his “pivotal role in the region and in world affairs.” He expressed “great confidence” in his leadership.
He ludicrously said Washington is “committed to the security and to the economic well-being of the Egyptian people, guided by the vibrancy of (Sisi-led) civil society, (its) politics, (its) free and fair democratic process.”
You can’t make this stuff up. Ruthless dictatorships prohibit fundamental rights. Systemic brutality and intolerance define Egyptian junta rule – with full US support and encouragement.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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