26 NGOs Send Letter to European Financial Leader on Egyptian Human Rights Before Upcoming Visit

04/16/2021 Egypt (International Christian Concern) – Yesterday, a group of human rights organizations addressed a letter to the President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Odile Renaud-Basso, urging her to address human rights concerns in Egypt during her visit to the country in two weeks. EBRD has increased its investment in Egypt since 2017, though many argue that Egypt’s human rights record since then is at odds with the bank’s mandate.

President Renaud-Basso is expected to be discussing the EBRD’s new strategy for Egypt, a country that is already among the largest EBRD investment operations. Some anticipate that the EBRD will seek to increase its investments over the next couple of years, giving Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi more resources to improve Egyptian development.

In the letter, the NGOs strongly recommended that the EBRD include Egyptian human rights abuses in its discussions with Egypt before making any decision about future investments. “We…urge you to convey to Egyptian authorities that the country’s worsening rule of law and human rights abuses represent non-compliance with the political aspects of the EBRD’s mandate and constitute a major problem for the Bank that should be addressed urgently and seriously,” the letter reads.

The letter goes into detail regarding Egypt’s human rights violations, including the lack of religious freedom granted to Coptic Christians as well as the arbitrary detention of human rights activists like Ramy Kamel. The NGOs argue that these abuses cannot be separated from the economic development financing that EBRD plans to deliver, and thus should be taken into account in discussions with the Egyptian government.

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