Sisi says ‘Western’ human rights values don’t apply in Egypt
Egypt’s president said that issues of human rights in his country should not be approached from a Western perspective due to domestic and regional conditions
Egypt’s president said on Wednesday that issues of human rights and civil liberties in his country should not be approached from a “Western perspective,” due to domestic and regional conditions, days after authorities detained two journalists.
Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi told this to a US congressional delegation visiting Cairo, his spokesman said in an official statement carried by local paper al-Ahram.
Sisi also told the US delegation, which was headed by the chairman of the US House Committee on Homeland Security Michael McCaul, that the Egyptian government was committed to the rule of law and upholding the values of democracy.
According to Sisi’s spokesman, the meeting involved talks on volatile countries in the region. The Egyptian president also warned of the consequences of the “fall of nation states” in the Middle East, and its impact on the rise of militant groups, al-Ahram reported.
The comments came after the president was accused by critics of human rights abuses by orchestrating a clampdown on the press.
On Wednesday, Egyptian police cordoned off the headquarters of the journalists’ union and limited access to the building in an escalating standoff following a raid on the premises and the arrest of two reporters.
In response to the clampdown, dozens of journalists rallied outside the union headquarters on Wednesday, chanting “Journalism is not a crime!” and demanding the dismissal of the country’s Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar.
Earlier this week, authorities arrested two journalists, Mahmoud al-Sakka and Amr Badr, who work for the opposition website Bawabet Yanayer, on grounds of “spreading false news and endangering national security.”
Adding to the escalated tensions among media in Egypt, memos from the interior ministry were leaked to the press on Tuesday, outlining strategies for deflecting public outrage over recent arrests.
The memos also suggested a gag order for stories covering the case of an Italian student, Giulio Regeni, who was abducted and killed in Cairo.