Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, is visiting Egypt from 2 to 5 March. The focus of the trip, alongside official talks, will be exchange with civil society.
Prior to her departure, the Human Rights Commissioner issued the following statement:
The human rights situation in Egypt has deteriorated considerably in recent years. I am especially concerned about the massive restrictions on the freedom of expression and of assembly as well as the arbitrary action taken against independent media. The initiation of an amendment of the act on NGOs adopted in 2017 is a step in the right direction, as long as this really does go some way to changing civil society’s immensely limited scope for action.
In my official talks, I will therefore call on the Egyptian authorities to allow Egypt’s citizens to exercise the right to freedom of expression, of assembly and of the press enshrined in the Egyptian constitution, thus ending the repressive action against civil society and the media and complying with international rule of law standards. Moreover, I will reaffirm the German Government’s rejection of the death penalty and urge the Egyptian authorities to stop executions immediately.
During my trip, I would like to gain a first-hand impression of the situation on the ground and, in particular, to encourage those who have the courage to remain committed. I am especially keen to support them, for I have the highest regard for all of them.