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Reps. Beyer and Malinowski Announce Formation of Egypt Human Rights Caucus

Today, Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) announced the formation of the Egypt Human Rights Caucus to mark the 10th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution.

“The Egyptian people’s hopes for self-determination, freedom, and social justice inspired the world in 2011. Unprecedented repression and grave human rights violations have not extinguished those hopes,” Rep. Beyer said. “Egypt remains a key ally, but its human rights record – including the years-long detention of my constituent, Aya Hijazi – remains a major concern, and we must stand up to demand better of our closest allies.”

“American interests have not been served by a policy of unconditional support for the Egyptian military, while downplaying the military-led government’s human rights abuses, corruption, and mistreatment of American citizens,” said Rep. Malinowski. “The Egypt Human Rights Caucus will reflect and help shape the growing consensus in Congress that we need to rebalance our relationship with this important country."

Both Members of Congress previously served in the U.S. State Department, and have been vocal supporters and advocates for human rights in Egypt. They look forward to building the caucus membership in the coming weeks on a bipartisan basis.

The human rights community welcomed the announcement of the caucus.

Human Rights Watch: “The formation of the Egypt Human Rights Caucus speaks to the urgency of the human rights situation in Egypt, and is a welcome development. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is presiding over one of Egypt’s worst human rights situations in decades, and Members of Congress, and this new caucus, have a vital role to play to encourage the prioritization of human rights across all facets of U.S.-Egyptian relations.”

The Freedom Initiative: “We’re grateful that Congress is signaling that respect for human rights must be a priority for the U.S. relationship with Egypt. We’re optimistic that it can play a role in recalibrating U.S.-Egypt bilateral relations to prioritize accountability and respect for basic human rights.”

Project on Middle East Democracy: “For too long U.S. policy has overlooked the human rights abuses of the Egyptian regime. We welcome the creation of the Egypt Human Rights Caucus and we hope it will work to create a strong relationship with Egypt and its people built on the foundation of democracy and human rights.”

“We are absolutely thrilled that Congress is recalibrating its approach to its relationship with Egypt, moving away from blank checks of support for President Sisi’s vicious crackdown on civil society and political discourse and toward upholding respect for the rights and dignity of the Egyptian people. We hope that the caucus can play a role in centering this relationship around the wellbeing of all Egyptians going forward,” said Philippe Nassif, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA.