HRW denounced dozens of arrests in Egypt and restrictions on the right to demonstrate before COP27

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The organization recalled that the Government requires all attendees to download an application that collects personal information and requires access to the camera, microphone and service mobile location. “A lot of data”, the group points out, “that raise concerns about the right to privacy of the participants”

HRW denounced dozens of arrests in Egypt and restrictions on the right to demonstrate before COP27

Among the arrests, HRW highlights that of the Indian activist against change climate change Ajit Rajagopal as he prepared to make an eight-day march from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh.

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), specialized in monitoring the international humanitarian situation, has denounced this Sunday that the Egyptian authorities have arrested dozens of people in recent days who have called for the demonstration and restricted their own right to protest in the days prior to the celebration of the COP27 climate summit in the tourist town of Sharm el Sheikh.

There, the authorities have ordered the placement of cameras in all the taxisof the area for security agencies to monitor passengers and drivers, and launched an “unduly complex” registration process aimed, according to HRW, at limiting public participation in this summit.

For the deputy director of HRW for the Middle East and North Africa, Adam Coogle, “it is clear that the Egyptian government” led by former military coup leader Abdelfatá al-Sisi “has no intention of relaxing its abusive security measures or allow freedom of expression or assembly.”

Among the arrests, HRW highlights that of the Indian activist against climate change Ajit Rajagopal when he was preparing to carry out an eight-day march from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh. Rajagopal was released the following day following international criticism.

HRW denounced dozens of arrests in Egypt and restrictions on the right to demonstrate ahead of COP27

Activists hold banners as they demonstrate at the entrance of the Center Sharm El Sheikh Convention International, during the opening of the COP27 climate summit, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on November 6, 2022. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

The governor of the province of South Sinai, Khaled Fouda, has warned that the security forces will only allow concentrations in designated areas, far from the summit. “No one who is not registered will be allowed to enter”, he declared at the end of last month on the Sada al-Balad television channel.

The demonstrations they must be held 36 hours in advance in the areas closest to the summit and 48 in any other point of the city, and only between 10:00 and 17:00. Its participants must be duly identified.

HRW also recalls that the Egyptian government requires all attendees to download an application that collects personal information and requires access to the camera, microphone and mobile location service. “A lot of data”, the group points out, “that raise concern about the right to privacy of the participants”.

The NGO recalls that international law guarantees everyone the right to free, active and meaningful participation in public affairs at the international, national, regional and local levels. The right to participation, he adds, is inextricably linked to other human rights such as the right to peaceful assembly and association and freedom of expression.

HRW denounced dozens of arrests in Egypt and restrictions on the right to demonstrate before COP27

International organizations and NGOs have denounced obstacles that the Government of Abdelfatah al Sisi has put in place for the accreditation of activists critical of his government and denounce that the event will be nothing more than a “greenwhasing” (image washing) for an authoritarian regime.

“Arresting Egyptians simply for calling for protests a few days before the COP is not only a violation of freedom of expression and assembly, it is also a direct message to COP participants to stay in line,” he said. riveted Coogle.

THE ABSENCES IN PROTEST

Another relevant issue will be to see if a country like Egypt, where there is a notable deficit in of human rights and where the authorities are very reluctant to allow public demonstrations, it can host a meeting of this type in which civil society and protest are central.

International organizations and NGOs They have denounced obstacles that the government of Abdelfatah al-Sisi has put in place for the accreditation of activists critical of his government and denounce that the event will be nothing more than a “greenwhasing” (image washing) for an authoritarian regime .

In fact, several global figures of l The environmental struggle, like Greta Thunberg, will not attend precisely because of the human rights situation in the country.

(with information from EP)

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