News / Africa

Analyst: No Appetite for Inclusive Rights in Egypt

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2014.  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2014.
x
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi before a meeting at the presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2014.
James Butty
Middle East analyst Nezar al-Sayyad said US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call on Egypt’s new leaders to embrace democracy and press freedom may fall on deaf ears because Egyptians do not seem to be interested.  

During his visit to Egypt, Kerry urged Egyptian leaders to uphold the universal rights of freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, and due process.

But, Al-Sayyad, chair of the University of California Berkeley’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, said there is no appetite in Egypt to include the Muslim Brotherhood at any level of political life.

“I think that the real problem that Secretary Kerry is facing in Egypt right now is the fact that Egyptians are not interested in hearing, particularly from the United States, about freedom of the press, or freedom of expression, or even fair trial, particularly for the Muslim Brotherhood, people that the majority of Egyptians today consider terrorists,” he said.

Al-Sayyad also said the US must make it clear to the Egyptian authorities that there are strings attached to restoring aid.

“I do hope that Kerry’s message will not totally fall on deaf ears, and it will be understood that, look, while we are restoring military aid, you are still not in our good book yet, and you still have to ensure a return of some of the freedoms,” Al-Sayyad said.

An Egyptian court over the weekend confirmed the death sentence for 183 Islamists, including Mohamed Badie, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The court had originally sentenced 683 people to death on charges stemming from the murder and attempted murder of police officers in Minya province last year.

The death sentences from the speedy March trial sparked an international outcry.

Al-Sayyad said the sentences will most likely be reversed and the defendants could possibly receive presidential pardons.

“In fact, if you have been following Egyptian media, there were more than 500 individuals who had been condemned to death, and many of these cases have already come back to court on appeal.  So, it’s very clear that the government of Egypt was almost using some of these sentences as a warning, particularly to the Muslim Brotherhood folks that, if you continue to engage in demonstrations, we may use the full force of the law to prosecute you and, in fact, imprison you forever,” Al-Sayyad said.
Butty interview with AlSayyad
Butty interview with AlSayyadi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Computer Crash Halts US Visa, Passport Operation

Problems with database have resulted in extensive backlog of applications, affected State Department's consular offices all over the world More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

World Bank: Boko Haram Stalls African Aid Projects

Islamist group’s terrorism sets back agriculture, health efforts in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnelsi
X
July 24, 2014 4:42 AM
The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video MH17's 'Black Boxes' Could Reveal Crash Details

The government of Malaysia now has custody of the cockpit voice and flight data recorders from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was hit by a missile over Ukraine before crashing last week. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports, the so-called black boxes may hold information about the final minutes of the flight.
Video

Video Living in the Shadows Panel Discussion

Following a screening of the new VOA documentary, "AIDS - Living in the Shadows," at the World AIDS conference in Melbourne, a panel discussed the film and how to combat the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid