Foreign Policy

Oppressive Egyptian Government To Receive Weapons From U.S.

| by Michael Allen

President Obama announced today that he was releasing U.S. military aid to Egypt.

The aid was suspended in 2013 after Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who was the military chief at the time, led an overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, who was democratically-elected, noted the Associated Press.

The massive military aid is intended to stop a group affiliated with ISIS, which has attacked Egyptian residents and soldiers.

The Associated Press noted that the aid includes "12 F-16 fighter jets, 20 missiles and up to 125 tank kits." President Obama will also lobby Congress for $1.3 billion in aid for Egypt, which will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

The White House said in a statement:

President Obama also reiterated U.S. concerns about Egypt’s continued imprisonment of non-violent activists and mass trials.  He encouraged increased respect for freedom of speech and assembly and emphasized that these issues remain a focus for the United States.

However, the human rights violations by the Egyptian government are far worse than the Obama administration stated.

The New York Times reported that Egyptian prosecutors are going to charge witnesses who claimed they saw Egyptian police kill Shaimaa el-Sabbagh, an unarmed poet and activist, on January 24.

Seven men who took part in a gay wedding video were charged with debauchery and undermining public morals, noted Al Jazeera in 2014.

An Egyptian court upheld a mass execution for 183 defendants, who allegedly murdered 11 police and two civilians, CNN reported last month.

The incident allegedly happened in August 2013, only one month after President Morsy was overthrown by el-Sissi's forces who continued to crack down on supporters of the former president.

Amnesty International said in February that the trials of the defendants were held at the Tora Police Institute, and only police officers and their families were allowed to testify.

Human Rights Watch notes, “In the period since the July 3, 2013 ousting of President Mohamed Morsy, Egyptian security forces have used excessive force on numerous occasions, leading to the worst incident of mass unlawful killings in Egypt’s recent history."

"Judicial authorities have handed down unprecedented large-scale death sentences and security forces have carried out mass arrests and torture that harken back to the darkest days of former President Hosni Mubarak’s rule,” Human Rights Watch added.

Sources: Associated Press,, The New York Times, Al Jazeera, Amnesty International, CNN, Human Rights Watch
Image Credit: Alessio Nastro Siniscalchi