Egypt is a key European partner with deciding role in the region say S&Ds
For the European Socialists and Democrats, the internal situation in Egypt since the revolution, its democratisation process and stability are very important. The S&D Group calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release anyone detained solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella MEP said:
„Egypt is a key country for the European Union due to its regional role, as was shown by the important contribution it made in negotiating the ceasefire in the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine, and also in the co-operation and fight against Daesh (the ISIS militants) and similar regional or global threats.
„We want to see Egypt heading in the right direction for democratic transition and we therefore call on the authorities to work towards the expectations the European Union has set out on stability, human rights and respect for fundamental freedoms. Hate speech, harassment, intimidation or censorship of political opponents, protesters, journalists, bloggers, trade unionists, women’s rights activists, civil society representatives and minorities are not acceptable.”
S&D MEP and vice-president for foreign affairs Victor Boştinaru said:
„We are very concerned by the current human rights and fundamental freedoms situation in the country. We fully understand the complex situation following the revolution and the threat of terrorism Egypt faces – and we can sympathise still more after the recent attacks in Paris. We also welcome President Sisi’s call for modernisation of Islamic thought as a courageous attempt to stop the extremism that is becoming more and more visible in the region and beyond.
„However, we consider that human rights and fundamental freedoms cannot be put aside to achieve other objectives. Protests cannot be crushed with violence and military courts cannot replace an independent judicial system.
„The long-awaited parliamentary elections are essential to give a real boost to the democratic process, but it must be ensured that they are free, fair and inclusive, and that they respect international standards. The European Parliament is ready to co-operate with the new Egyptian parliament, which should reflect a truly pluralistic society.”