Egypt and COVID-19: Hold General Sisi accountable for health disaster in Egypt

Those who have undersigned this letter hold accountable General Abdelfattah El-Sisi to the continued health disaster cause by Covid-19. General Sisi has acted with little to no transparency whatsoever, even when concerning an international pandemic that won’t only harm his own people, but all of humanity. This virus has and continues to spread in Egypt in an uncontrollable fashion. It has moreover been proven that many of the cases contracted by non-Egyptians actually originated by those who had travelled to Egypt, and therefore proves that the domestic state in relation to this virus is even more dire.

Assessments by international scientists, fact-seeking journalists, and eyewitnesses indicate that the true number of cases are most likely much higher than the figures reported by the Egyptian government. With the decrepit health system in Egypt, this situation will only get worse, putting the 100-million population at an increased risk. Mr. Abdelfattah El-Sisi, the head of the regime, should be held responsible before the international community for the consequences of this grave pestilence.

We send a grave warning to the Egyptian regime that hiding the facts of the coronavirus in Egypt will eventually lead to an even bigger catastrophe. Egypt simply does not have the resources to control a virus that has the ability to spread to its population of 100 million people. The authorities have even thus far refused to free political prisoners in order to eliminate the spread of the virus, all of whom are kept under notoriously unbearable conditions inside detention centers, which violate the simplest of human rights.

The Egyptian regime continues to display inexcusable recklessness towards this pandemic, further proven by the fact that they were only country to open its boarders to Chinese visitors along with Italian visitors, even when the majority of other nations had done the exact opposite.

We moreover hold the international community accountable to the inevitable coronavirus disaster in Egypt, due to the presence of an internationally backed and financially supported authoritarian regime. The international community turned a blind eye to the bloody coup that was orchestrated in 2013 by general Sisi, and the human rights violations that followed, including unlawful executions, rape, torture, murder, mass imprisonments and forced disappearances.

These actions and blind support by the international community will undoubtedly backfire not just in Egypt or the region, but the global community as a whole. If immediate and desperately needed action is not taken against this regime, the disaster will worsen perpetually.

We therefore call on you to use all instruments at your disposal to prevent this situation from getting out of control. Specifically, we urge you to:

1) Condemn Mr. Sisi and his government officials for hiding the truth about the prevalence of COVID19 in Egypt, and put them on notice so that they are held accountable for the serious consequences of their deceitful tactics.

2) Request that Egypt’s international partners ensure that any monetary and material support should be used only toward improving the health care system. The Egyptian regime is notorious for robbing international aid money for their own benefit and for repression of the Egyptian people.

3) Issue a strong statement asking the authorities to release all political prisoners during the outbreak to avoid uncontrollable spread of the disease and loss of thousands of lives.

Best regards,

Maissa Abdel Latif | Director, Women’s Coalition for Human Rights Missy Crutchfield, Co-Founder Gandhi Global Center for Peace Sara Flounders | Co-Director, International Action Center
Medea Benjamin | Co-Founder, CODEPINK
Melissa Turner | Co-Founder,
Sherif Mohamed / Co-Founder, Egyptians Abroad For Democracy Salah Eldooby / Co-Founder, Ghorbah
Mohamed Ismail / Co-Founder, Homeland For All