US suspends Egypt aid over human rights fears – comment

August 23, 2017

Image of Ibrahim Halawa

Commenting on the news that the US State Department has suspended some assistance to Egypt over human rights concerns, Maya Foa – Director of international human rights organisation Reprieve – said:

“This is a step in the right direction by the State Department. Egypt cannot be allowed to continue the catastrophic repression of the last four years. The US should deny any and all assistance to Egypt that could contribute to abuses such as torture, mass trials and illegal death sentences – abuses that have been visited on thousands of Egyptians in recent years, including journalists, protesters, and juveniles like Ibrahim Halawa.


“The international community – including the UK and the EU – must follow suit, and urgently review their cooperation with President el-Sisi’s security sector.”


Notes to Editors:

1. Reprieve is an international human rights organization. Reprieve’s London office can be contacted on:, or +44 207 553 8160.

2. Reprieve assists Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen facing the death penalty in a mass trial of 494 protesters in Egypt. More information about Ibrahim’s case is available at the Reprieve website, here.

3. Reprieve has raised concerns over British and European Union assistance to Egypt’s security sector. Last week, it emerged (Guardian) that the UK had allocated £2m in public funds to support Egypt’s security sector, including in the area of juvenile detention. Meanwhile, a €10m project sponsored by the European Commission has seen European bodies provide training and equipment for Egypt’s criminal justice system.