Ottawa remains silent on human rights violations in Egypt during COP27

Canadian Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeau joined other world leaders in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a secluded luxury resort town on the Red Sea, for the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP27. His COP27 discussions this year will focus on issues related to the impact of climate change on the long-term viability of vulnerable communities, food and water security, and the future of energy.

Despite the fact that fighting climate change is everyone’s top priority, the COP27 conference drew criticism for the host country’s human rights and environmental record. To further silence dissidents, Egypt limits the ability of activists and environmental groups to enter the country with accreditation. COP27 has been dubbed ‘Africa’s COP’ as a platform for African activists to speak out for communities devastated by drought, floods and fossil fuel projects. However, only 20% of African activists were accepted. To make matters worse, Egyptian authorities detained a recently arrived activist for leading a walk to raise awareness of the climate crisis.

Egypt has a terrible track record in environmental protection. In recent years, highways and elevated roads have been built in place of hundreds of years old trees, effectively separating the historic district from the surrounding area. The Nile River, the country’s main water source, is at risk as a result of Ethiopia’s Renaissance dams. Unprecedented levels of youth unemployment and population explosion. Egypt faces a severe food crisis due to the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Swimming pools and miniature golf courses have sprung up in gated communities alongside communities without running water. The Egyptian government is depopulating Warak Island, once a biodiversity paradise, and selling it to foreign investors who promise to turn it into an entertainment park.

COP27 was held in Egypt to appease President Sisi, but the decision did not make Egypt a leader in environmental policy, rather it improved Egypt’s economy and living standards, which have been steadily declining since the 2013 military rule. Nor is it something to do. A coup that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people and the poor economic policies implemented in the years that followed.

Naturally, we need Canada to advocate for our environmental vision. But has Ottawa taken any action to link its engagement to the promotion of human rights? have missed

Canada is mostly silent. Despite the arbitrary detention of many Canadians in Egypt since 2013, Canada has turned a blind eye to gross human rights violations documented by human rights groups. To make matters worse, Canada is trying to deport Egyptian human rights activists back to Egypt.

An estimated 60,000 political prisoners are arbitrarily detained today. Not to mention those who have been the target of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. Egypt is building 78 prisons as of her 2021, and Amnesty International accuses the country of subjecting detainees to cruel and inhumane conditions, which the government on human rights This is a reality that contradicts the claims of

Agnès Calamar, Executive Director of Amnesty International, said: “No amount of propaganda can hide the dire human rights situation in the country, which demands real reform from the government.” .

Residents of Sharm el-Sheikh report that authorities have stepped up security and harassed them in preparation for COP27. A nationwide call for peaceful demonstrations on November 11 resulted in arrests of “possible protesters” across the country. Global Affairs has raised the risk level and advised Canadians to exercise extreme caution in Egypt due to the unstable security situation.

The international community made a mistake by agreeing to host COP27 in Egypt and greenwashing Egypt’s human rights record. But that has already happened, so Minister Guilbeau will maintain Canada’s longstanding reputation as a champion of democracy and human rights by demonstrating support for the right of the Egyptian people to express themselves freely and openly. should. This is the message he should deliver to President Sisi at COP27.

with Ehab Lotaev Sama Elibiari He is a board member of the Egyptian-Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD). Ehab is a poet, author, community activist, and IT manager at McGill University. Samaa is a member of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women.

Ottawa remains silent on human rights violations in Egypt during COP27

Source link Ottawa remains silent on human rights violations in Egypt during COP27

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