Activists from the UK-based MENA Solidarity Network have called for protests against Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s expected visit to the kingdom by the year’s end, private media AlMasry AlYoum reported.
The initiative released a statement via its website saying that, although “Sisi’s forces killed over 1000 at Raba’a on August 14, 2013,” government and security officials have yet to be held responsible. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron authorized export licenses for BGP 40 million worth of military equipment to Egypt.
“When 1,000 people are murdered and no one is held responsible, this is a crime against humanity, not an arms sale opportunity,” the statement said, calling for activists to gather in front of the Tory Party conference in Manchester on Sunday to protest.
Cameron initially extended the invitation one day after a Cairo court confirmed the death sentence against former president Mohamed Morsy, which the British government condemned.
In July, a petition on global civic activism website Avaaz denouncing Cameron’s invitation garnered over 1,200 signatures.
The petition condemned Sisi’s human rights record, which it states is “tarnished by the worst massacres in Egypt’s modern history.”
Sisi’s anticipated visit also ruffled feathers within the British Parliament, where the Middle East Eye reported 44 parliamentarians signed a motion calling on the British government to rescind the invitation. The petition argued that extending an official invitation to Sisi signals the British government’s tolerance of “human rights abuses” under Sisi’s presidency.
A Cameron spokeswoman responded to the criticism, saying that the visit would allow the two leaders to discuss “mutual interests” and would allow British officials to “raise matters of concern” with Sisi.
Meanwhile, at a meeting with a British House of Lords delegation in Egypt, Sisi said that he looks forward to promoting ties with the UK “in all fields.”