Egyptian president Abdelfattah el-Sisi is expecting red carpet treatment when he arrives on an official visit to Britain later this year. David Cameron and the Tory government would like us to believe that Sisi’s visit heralds the return of “business as usual” with the military regime. They will talk up trade and investment “opportunities”, while talking down the gross human rights abuses which have taken place under Sisi’s rule. We don’t think that many people in Britain will be fooled. Back in 2011, millions here were inspired to see Egyptians taking to the streets to overthrow a tyrant who was backed by Britain and the US. Now an even more brutal dictator than Mubarak is power, it is more important than ever to show solidarity with all those in Egypt who are still fighting for democracy and social justice.
- Join our campaign to mobilise protests against the dictator’s visit! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
- Support the call for the British government to stop licensing equipment for export to the Egyptian military and security forces
Campaign supported by:
Egypt Solidarity Initiative, MENA Solidarity, Platform, Campaign Against Arms Trade, Union Solidarity International, Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
Sign the statement against the visit on the Union Solidarity International website.
Why is #Sisinotwelcome? Here are ten good reasons:
- Protesters massacred
According to Human Rights Watch, Sisi bears direct responsibility for the massacre of over 1000 people as security forces cleared protest camps at Raba’a al-Adawiyya and Nahda Squares in August 2013.
- Hundreds condemned to death
Since the military took power in 2013 hundreds have been condemned to death in trials which international human rights organisations say are completely flawed. Now Sisi wants to speed up executions and make the hearing of defence witnesses “optional” for the courts.
- Sexual violence a tool of state repression
Sexual violence is being used by security forces “to eliminate public protest” by targeting detainees with rape, sexual assault and “virginity testing”, according to this recent report.
- Forty thousand jailed
Egyptian human rights organisations documented cases of around 40,000 people who were jailed in the first year alone after the military took power. Prisoners’ rights activists also documented 163 cases of forced disappearances between April and June 2015.
- Torture rife
The ill-treatment of detainees who face beatings, overcrowding and lack of medical care is routine in Egyptian police stations and prisons, and is leading to deaths in custody.
- Strikers shot down
The police and army are using increasing violence to break up workers’ protests and strikes. Cement workers in Al-Arish were fired on by the army in May this year, as they protested against the failure to provide an ambulance to help an injured colleague, and one worker was killed.
- Journalists harassed and detained
Egypt’s prisons hold a record number of journalists. The Committee to Protect Journalists found that 18 were behind bars in June 2015. Those who are not in jail face heavy-handed censorship and intimidation from the authorities.
- Democracy denied
When Sisi took power from Mohamed Morsi in 2013, he ignored calls for early elections, instead rushing through repressive laws to criminalise protest. Egypt’s parliament has not met since 2012 when it was dissolved on the orders of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, of which Sisi was a member.
- Opposition outlawed
Opposition groups across the political spectrum have been banned by Sisi’s government, from the Muslim Brotherhood to the 6th April Youth Movement.
- Gaza besieged
Sisi’s regime is a willing partner in the Israeli siege of Gaza. Despite the desperate need for aid to rebuild the Gaza strip, Egypt has barely opened the Rafah crossing at all this year.
What you can do:
- Look out for announcements of activities and events related to the visit on our website and social media channels
- Contact email@example.com if you want to get involved in the campaign
- Pass a resolution in your trade union or student union to support the campaign against the visit
- Take a picture with our #Sisinotwelcome sign and post it to our Facebook page [sisi_sunglasses_notwelcome_poster]
- Sign the statement against executions