Rights group slams UK PM over Sisi invite
David Cameron has come under fire after inviting Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi to London for bilateral talks
UK Prime Minister David Cameron, has come under fire for inviting Egypt's President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi, to London for talks, British newspaper The Guardian has reported.
Critics are demanding Cameron tackles Sisi over Egypt’s alleged human rights abuses following the recent sentencing to death of former president Mohammad Mursi and countless others.
Mursi was sentenced to death by an Egyptian court for causing jail breaks, and attacking the police during the Egyptian revolt in 2011.
A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed that an invite had been sent to Sisi, adding: “We have been looking at the possibility of President Al-Sisi coming to have bilateral talks with the prime minister later this year."
But Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa deputy director, Hassiba Hadj Sahraou, has slammed the invite, describing it as astonishing and short-sighted given Egypt’s “appalling” human rights record, the report added.
“There’s been a sharp rise in the number of death sentences and executions since Sisi came to power, some of which have taken place after grossly unfair trials. Thousands have been detained and many languish in jail, including journalists, in an apparent attempt to quash all dissenting voices,” Sahraou told the newspaper.
“We want to see David Cameron personally raising human rights issues in any face-to-face talks with President Sisi, and we also want to see these issues addressed in public.”
UK Foreign Office minister Lady Anelay defended the invite, telling the newspaper: “We raise our human rights concerns regularly with representatives of the Egyptian government.”
She added: “I think the prime minister has talked before about how it is important that we engage with countries where there are issues which are important to the UK's national interest and how we can work together."