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Statement of Egypt Human Rights Caucus on the Egyptian Government’s Pending Deadline to Comply with Human Rights Conditions on US Taxpayer Gifted Weapons

January 25, 2022 (Washington, DC) – Reps. Don Beyer (D-VA) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), co-chairs of Congress’ Egypt Human Rights Caucus, issued the following statement today on the pending deadline for the Egyptian government’s compliance with human rights conditions laid out by President Biden :

“We welcome the recent release of several high-profile Egyptian political prisoners, but note that these releases come as Sisi’s government approaches an end-of-month deadline to meet more far-reaching conditions imposed by President Biden to secure the release of $130 million in US military aid. It is disheartening that it took the United States withholding US taxpayer-gifted weaponry to secure the release of a mere handful of the tens of thousands of political prisoners that remain in Egyptian prisons, and that the President's conditions still appear not to have been met in full. The releases also come on the heels of the indictment in US courts of an Egyptian spy who monitored and obtained information about American residents the regime considered political opponents. This case is just another example of the transnational repression carried out by the Egyptian regime that puts Americans and American national security at risk.

“The human rights conditions President Biden attached to our aid to Egypt were not a multiple choice menu for President Sisi to choose from — they were meant to be met in full. If the Egyptian government cherry picks a few concessions from the President’s list, while intensifying its broader campaign of repression, arbitrary detention, and extrajudicial punishments, that would defeat the purpose of the administration's efforts. Rewarding such a cynical move would make it even less likely that Egypt will take our requests on human rights or any other issue seriously in the future. As such, President Biden should reprogram the withheld $130 million as promised, unless the Egyptian regime complies with his stated conditions in full by the deadline.

“It is reasonable to expect a government that depends on the United States for security assistance to show some respect for repeatedly expressed U.S. concerns. Instead, the government of Egypt has continued to engage in widespread torture, suppression of dissent, and even persecution of American citizens and the families of critics living in the United States, while treating our military aid as an entitlement that must be provided unconditionally. Holding firm on the conditions would be consistent with President Biden’s campaign commitment of “[n]o more blank checks” for the Egyptian military regime.”

The caucus’ previous statement on the administration’s military aid policy for Egypt can be found here.