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The New Arab

Online petition demands UK cancel Sisi visit

Protests have already erupted in London against the proposed Sisi visit [al-Araby]

Date of publication: 10 July, 2015

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More than a thousand people have signed an e-petition calling for the UK to rescind its invitation to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi over his poor human rights record.

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Egypt, UK, Sisi,
A petition circulating online has attracted the signatures of more than 1,200 people demanding British Prime Minister David Cameron revoke his invitation to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and engage with the country's democratic opposition instead.

The campaign on global civic activism website Avaaz denounced the British government's invitation to Sisi. The former military commander's human rights record was tarnished by "the worst massacres in Egypt's modern history" and handing out "mass death sentences against opponents", the petition states.

Farouk Mesahel kicked off the campaign. "As a UK citizen I am proud of what my country is doing regarding human rights, such as the British-drafted UN resolution condemning the 1995 Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia," he said.
     The judiciary has just become one of Sisi's tools in his war against the Brotherhood
- Farouk Mesahel, Egyptians for Democracy


"But, on the other hand it is dealing with Sisi who has openly confessed to committing massacres.

"There are currently 42,000 detainees in Egypt in Guantanamo-style prisons, women are being raped and people are being executed in their homes. The judiciary has just become one of Sisi's tools in his war against the Brotherhood," Mesahel added.

The member of the non-religious Egyptians for Democracy group said he believed the UK was caving to pressure from the Gulf to hold bilateral talks with the Egyptian president, and because of Britain's economic investments in Egypt.

Last Friday, on the second anniversary of the military coup which ousted Islamist President Mohammad Morsi, pro-Brotherhood protesters gathered in London, calling for Sisi to be "brought to justice" instead of being invited to visit the UK.

A Cameron spokeswoman recently confirmed the UK was examining the possibility of a visit from Sisi "later this year" to discuss mutual interests. When pressed on Egypt's human rights record, she said the meetings would allow British officials to "raise matters of concern".

Morsi was elected president in June 2012. He was ousted in July 2013 in military coup led by Sisi, following mass protests against the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

At least 1,400 people, mostly Brotherhood supporters, have been killed in a police crackdown on protests, and much of the Brotherhood's leadership has been arrested since Morsi's overthrow.

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