Amnesty Calls for Help After Egypt Rights Activists Arrested

Egyptian authorities arrested three human rights activists in apparent retaliation for a meeting with senior Western diplomats, writes Tom Allinson for Deutsche Welle. Gasser Abdel Razek, the director of one of Egypt's most prominent civil rights bodies, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and Mohamed Basheer, the administration manager of the organization, have been detained. The EIPR says security forces questioned Basheer on the group's work and a meeting it held with 13 mainly European diplomats on November 3, where members discussed human rights in Egypt. Authorities also arrested Karim Ennarah, the director of criminal justice at the EIPR. The arrests come against the backdrop of a sustained crackdown on all forms of dissent and criticism of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government. Experts say that years of European and United States tolerance of rights abuses while maintaining trade and military relations with Egypt, have produced a situation where Egypt expects little real pushback. Egypt is also anticipating a changing of the guard in the U.S, an analyst says, after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden promised "no more blank cheques for Trump's 'favourite dictator'".

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