(Washington D.C, January 28, 2021) – The Biden administration announced that it would withhold $130 million in military aid conditioned on Egypt improving its human rights record only three days after it approved a $2.5 billion weapons sale without any such conditions.
"Denying the Sisi government a paltry $130 million is a bit of a crude shell game after the Biden administration's approval of $2.5 billion in weapons sales earlier this week," said John Hursh, Program Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). "That the Egyptian government could not meet even the watered-down human rights conditions to release 16 political prisoners is just one reason for why the U.S. government has no business sending one cent of weapons to its brutal dictatorship."
In 2021, the U.S. government provided Egypt nearly $1.2 billion in military aid even as the State Department's 2020 Country Report on Human Rights in Egypt documented gross violations of human rights including unlawful or arbitrary killings, extrajudicial killings by the government or government agents, forced disappearances, torture, and numerous cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
Since coming to power in a 2013 military coup, President Sisi has overseen sweeping and systematic measures to repress freedom throughout the country. Political prisoners crowd Egyptian prisons, numbering at least 60,000, and prison conditions are brutal, as torture, inhuman treatment, and the purposeful withholding of medical care are commonplace.