Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi speaks at the U.N. COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, 2021. CPJ joined a call for Egypt to respect human rights before it hosts COP27 in November. (Yves Herman/AP)

CPJ joins call urging Egyptian government to respect human rights ahead of COP27

In a joint open letter on July 14, 2022, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined 20 other civil society groups in urging German officials meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to press the Egyptian leader to reopen civic space in the country.

The letter is addressed to German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action Jennifer Morgan, who are scheduled to co-chair the Petersberg Climate Dialogue with el-Sisi on July 18 and 19.

The signatories urge Baerbock and Morgan to press el-Sisi to release all individuals arbitrarily detained in Egypt for their journalism, to unblock all censored news websites, and to ensure that the rights of press freedom, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association are protected.

The letter notes that such reforms are particularly vital ahead of the COP27 U.N. summit on climate change, scheduled to be held in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh in November.

The letter also called for the release of jailed blogger and journalist Alaa Abdelfattah, who has been on hunger strike for over 100 days to protest the dire conditions of his imprisonment. As of December 1, 2021, at least 25 journalists were imprisoned in Egypt, making it the third worst jailer of journalists in the world.

The full letter can be read here.