September 25, 2019
As members of the Working Group on Egypt (a bipartisan group of foreign affairs experts formed in 2010), we call on U.S. government officials to restate clearly the United States’ support for peaceful protests in Egypt. Authorities there have arrested more than 1,400 people after peaceful anti-corruption protests broke out in 14 Egyptian provinces on September 20 and 21.
More protests are possible in the coming days and weeks. In Egypt, President Trump’s statements after meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on September 23 are being interpreted as giving Sisi a green light to use force against demonstrators and to engage in a broader crackdown.
We ask U.S. officials in the executive and legislative branches to make clear that the United States continues to stand for the following principles regarding demonstrations in Egypt, just as it has done recently regarding protests in Russia, Hong Kong, Iran, and Sudan:
- Egyptians have the right to protest peacefully, and to exercise that right without fear of state violence or other retribution.
- The military and police should show restraint, avoid conflict, and remain committed to the protection of the people.
- All detained peaceful protesters, journalists, lawyers, and human rights defenders should be released immediately and any charges against them dropped.
Robert Kagan (co-chair)
Michele Dunne (co-chair)