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HomeTechnologyProtesting at COP27 in Egypt is risky.this won't stop activists

Protesting at COP27 in Egypt is risky.this won't stop activists

el-Fattah’s sister, Sanaa Seif, an activist who had previously protested the ban on Jailed demonstrations under empowered laws – delivered a moving speech quoting her brother. “We need to recapture the arena for local action, not as a space to hoard tragic gains, but as a space to discuss a better future for everyone,” Saif said. “Hopefully this is necessary action. Our good The dream may not come true, but if we allow ourselves to dwell in our nightmares, we will be killed by fear before the flood arrives.”

But the brawl that ensued afterward is a case in point of what human rights activists face Resistance: According to the Washington Post , Egyptian MP Amr Darwish stood up and yelled at Saif. “Here you are calling foreign countries to put pressure on Egypt.” He berated her before U.N. security guards escorted him away, according to the newspaper.

Activists in Egypt have had to contend with limited funding, harassment and onerous conditions for organizing peaceful demonstrations and press conferences. Some feared for their lives and were essentially forced into exile. Ubrei-Joe Maimoni Mariere, a Nigerian environmental activist with the nonprofit Friends of the Earth Africa, said a small gathering of people was enough to raise suspicions among security forces. “Egypt is not the best place to host the COP because of the repressive nature of the Egyptian government. Activists are careful not to violate local laws,” he said. Instead of holding such a meeting in a beautiful resort, he argues, it would be better to hold such a meeting in a place where many people are living with the effects of climate change, such as polluted water and heat waves.

On Friday, U.S. President Joe Biden plans to meet with Sisi, reportedly to press him on human rights in the country. Egypt has been a close ally of the United States since the 1980s and is one of the largest recipients of military aid from the United States, Russia, France and Italy. At Tuesday’s event, Saif essentially called for a reduction in aid. “Those weapons are going to be used against us. You really have to rethink your foreign policy towards Egypt because it creates a problem here,” she said.

Egyptian human rights advocate Baggett said conditions for activists had deteriorated significantly since the coup that brought former general Sisi to power. Ten years ago, after the Arab Spring culminated in the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak, people felt empowered, he said. His organization helped a community in western Egypt who organized a sit-in after being displaced by the nuclear plant to demand the return of their land or fair compensation. Eventually, after protests and a press conference, the government came up with a compensation plan. “I tell you this story because it’s impossible to imagine every aspect of it today,” he said.

Some are very direct, while others, in more subtle and nuanced ways, emerge from a certain In the sense that some of these groups and activists are self-censoring and not engaging in certain actions and discussions that might get them into trouble,” said Katharina Rall, an environmental researcher. Group. Rall said, ahead of the start of the COP27 summit The unwelcoming environment for the demonstrators was already evident when Indian activist Ajit Rajagopal began an eight-day march from Cairo to Sharm el-Sheikh but ended Arrested by Egyptian security forces on Nov. 6. He was released the next day, but the message was clear.

Next UN climate summit, COP28, in Nov. 2023 in United Arab Emirates The government is also well documented as an authoritarian regime. But Bahgat said COP27 had already sent a key message: “There is no climate justice without human rights. Additional reporting by

Gregory Barber.



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