Joint protest called against Sisi visit

sisi_notwelcome_737550Egypt Solidarity Initiative will be joining with other organisations in a joint protest at 5pm on Wednesday 4 November at Downing Street against Sisi’s visit. Please help us spread the word. We need mobilise as many people as we can to send a clear message that Sisi is not welcome in the UK. Click here for more background on the visit and downloadable leaflets / posters.

Joint statement: 7 reasons to oppose Sisi’s visit

1.     Sisi destroyed the aspirations of millions of Egyptians who took part in the January 25th revolution, setting the historic clock backwards and abruptly ending the nascent democratic experiment that replaced 30 years of Mubarak dictatorship. Regretfully, the dictatorship is back to business in Egypt, with Egyptian rulers brazenly trampling on the rights of citizens while Western governments support it [1].

2.     In August 2013, General Sisi spearheaded Raba’a Massacre; the massacre that was described by Human Rights Watch as “one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history”. Till now, no official has been held accountable for the killing of more than 860 in 12 hours. This was not the first time General Sisi played a key role in the mass killing of demonstrators: in 2011, as director of Military Intelligence and a member of the ruling Military Council, he bears responsibility for the massacre of 27 Coptic Christian protesters during a demonstration they had in front of Maspero. [2]

3.     Sisi is a brutal dictator who presided over the killing of about 2,500 people and the imprisonment of over 40,000 for political reasons. [3]

4.     Sisi’s one year in power has been described by a local human rights organization as “the worst ever in terms of human rights violations since 1993”, and by HRW as the “Year of Abuses” with hundreds of cases of torture, almost a thousand cases of enforced disappearances, and scores of documented rape. [4, 5]

5.     Sisi waged a war on free speech, shut down independent TV channels, expanded media censorship, imprisoned journalists and uses state media as a fascist propaganda mouthpiece, inciting hatred, violence and spreading lies and rumours to influence the masses. [6]

6.     Sisi, together with Israel, enforces the tight illegal blockade of Gaza, going as far as flooding the tunnels – a lifeline for besieged Gaza – and creating a sea-water moat along the Egypt-Gaza border. This, in effect, salinates and pollutes the aquifer that is the major source of fresh water for drinking and irrigation for Gazans. [7]

7.     By presenting himself as the bulwark of security and stability, Western Governments have been willing to turn a blind eye to Sisi’s abuses. In reality, security in Egypt has deteriorated under his rule. His determination to eliminate moderate political opponents is feeding into the growth of violent extremism. [8]

4 things you can do immediately to oppose Sisi’s visit

1.     Tell Cameron that Sisi is not welcome in the UK: Join the demonstration called by Stop The War, the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, Stop Sisi Campaign, Muslim Association of Britain, Egypt Solidarity Initiative, 6th of April Movement, FOSIS, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Union Solidarity International and Platform. The protest, on November the 4th, 2015, is against Sisi’s visit and will be in front of 10 Downing Street from 17:00 to 19:00.

2.     Write to your MP, using this tool or independently. Ask them to reject Sisi’s visit by signing the Early day Motion 279 which has already been signed by 49 MPs.

3.     Sign the petition on the UK Government website: Cancel Sisi’s invitation to the UK.

4.     Follow the websites and sign-up to the newsletters of the organisations below to get more information and see how you can help the cause.