The Egypt Solidarity Initiative (ESI), an international collective of activists, politicians and scholars, issued a statement Tuesday calling for an end to the interim government’s abuses against civilians.The group’s founding statement warns that the gains of the 25 January revolution are under threat of a “a new wave of repression” from authorities that are “hostile to human rights and social justice.”
The statement cites the events of the third anniversary of the 25 January uprising, during which 64 were killed and more than 1,000 were arrested, according to official counts.
ESI seeks to organise international support for the employment of newly gained human rights in Egypt, which include freedom of speech, assembly and press; the right to strike; an end to sexual violence and religious or sectarian persecution; free elections, and fair trials.
The group considers under attack university campuses, which expelled security forces in 2011, only to have them enter campus to arrest students; academics who are charged with terrorism for expressing their views; members of independent workers’ unions who face intimidation or arrest; human rights organisations which are attacked or searched; and independent media organisations that are closed or whose journalists are arrested.
In order to ensure the freedoms won by Egyptians during the 25 January revolution, ESI’s founding statement calls for the immediate release of those imprisoned for exercising rights to freedom of speech or assembly; the repeal of the recently protest law, which requires marches to have government approval; an independent investigation into state violence and criminality; and the end to trials of civilians in military of State Security courts.
The group also calls on international governments to suspend aid that could be used to violate the rights of the citizens of Egypt, in particular the sale of weapons and cyber-surveillance equipment to Egypt.
Among the original signatories are members of international solidarity groups, professors, international activists, union organisers, and academics.
The group’s founding letter was released on the three-year anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s ouster.