Ikhwanweb :: The Muslim Brotherhood Official English Website

Tue109 2018

Last update19:14 PM GMT

Back to Homepage
Font Size : 12 point 14 point 16 point 18 point
:: Issues > Democracy
Obama Administration Needs to Truly Pressure Egypt
Obama Administration Needs to Truly Pressure Egypt
The Obama Administration made a welcome move by having Attorney General Eric Holder call out the Egyptian government on his recent visit to Cairo. But it needs to do more.
Saturday, July 31,2010 11:48
by Amitabh Pal progressive.org
The Obama Administration made a welcome move by having Attorney General Eric Holder call out the Egyptian government on his recent visit to Cairo. But it needs to do more.

Holder publicly hoped that those security officials responsible for beating a man, Khaled Said, to death in full public view last month “would be held accountable.” The killing has galvanized the nation, culminating in massive protests and widespread demands for change in the culture of brutality and impunity that permeates Egypt’s police force. The outpouring has already had an effect, since the authorities have been forced to arrest and put on trial the cops allegedly responsible.

The Obama folks have vacillated on asking one of the largest recipients of U.S. aid to reform. When President Obama made his historic speech in Cairo last year, he uttered nary a word about the Egyptian government. And when Hosni Mubarak’s son and heir apparent, Gamal, visited officialdom in Washington a year ago, he divulged to a gathering that it was the first time “when I wasn’t deluged with questions about the human rights situation in Egypt.” That’s why Holder's statement is refreshing.

Egypt has some brave dissidents who deserve all the support they can get. When I visited the country back in 2002 with other journalists, a bunch of human rights activists who met us laughed in response when we asked them if they feared arrest. Over the past few years, there’s been a courageous movement called Kefaya (Enough!) that has persisted in the face of intense repression by the government, including sexual assault.

And now the country’s reformers are coalescing around the possible presidential candidacy of former IAEA head and Nobel Peace laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. The government has already begun its campaign of harassment by forbidding ElBaradei from conducting any “political work” on campuses, a way of ensuring that he is not able to reach out to the urban educated youth, a critical constituency.

That’s where the Obama Administration comes in. The elections are scheduled to be held next year, and ElBaradei has said he will take part only if the playing field is truly level. During his Egypt visit, Holder called for the elections to be conducted “in a free and open way.” In recent remarks, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Margaret Scobey has talked about “support to democracy and human rights in Egypt through support to Egyptian civil society.”

But the United States needs to move beyond words. It has to use the $1.6 billion annual allowance it doles out to Egypt to press for real electoral and administrative reform.

Egypt is in the grip of a geriatric dictator who plans to eventually yield in true monarchical fashion only to his son. If the Obama Administration helps in even a small way to level the electoral field, it will have struck a major blow for democracy and human rights.

Source

tags: Obama / Egyptian Government / Mubarak / Khaled Saeed / Khaled Saed / Gamal Mubarak / NGOs / Kefaya / / Obama Administration / Khaled Said /
Posted in Democracy  
Add Comment Send to Friend Print
Related Articles
Alexandria court adjourns Khaled Saeed’s trial
Egypt: Mubarak’s terminal cancer sparks fears
Khaled Saeed case investigation
Egypt: Two police officers go on trial for Khaled Said torture case
Lawyers welcome case opened against Khaled Saed's police killing
US ambassador calls for justice in Khaled Saed incident
Egyptian government fails to fulfill promises to protect human rights
Mubarak’s Last Breath
Why Obama needs to revamp his Egypt strategy
Four Things Obama Needs to Do in the Middle East
Obama’s Remainees
Gamal Mubarak meets with Top U.S. business delegation
UPR: Egyptian government Vs NGOs
Egyptian government, NGOs duke it out in Geneva over women’s rights
Gamal Mubarak: Egypt’s Next Unelected President
To The Egyptian Government
Annan's allegations do not reflect the Kefaya movement's ideology.
Kefaya, opposition forces to stage protests during upcoming Obama visit
Is the Egyptian government at war with its people?