In January, it was reported that the Biden administration authorized $2.5 billion in arms sales to Egypt, despite ongoing concerns regarding human rights abuses.
“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East,” the press release for both sales stated. “The proposed sale will improve Egypt’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing airlift support for its forces by moving supplies, equipment, and people, thus strengthening its capacity in the security and humanitarian arena.”
In response last month, Senator Rand Paul told The Daily Wire that he would “force the [United States] Senate to vote on a bipartisan joint resolution that would cancel the latest military sale to Egypt’s criminal masters.” According to the Senator’s office, the vote will be forced on Thursday March 10.
“Egyptians continue to live under the harsh authoritarian rule of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,” Dr. Paul said. “A State Department human rights report details how President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi converted a country into a prison.”
This State Department report lists “significant human rights issues,” including:
… extrajudicial killings by the government or its agents and terrorist groups; forced disappearance; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary detention; political prisoners or detainees; politically motivated reprisal against individuals located outside the country; arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy; serious restrictions on free expression, the press, and the internet, including arrests or prosecutions of journalists, censorship, site blocking, and the existence of criminal libel laws, which were not enforced; substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, such as overly restrictive laws governing civil society organizations; restrictions on political participation; violence targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex persons and use of the law to arrest and prosecute arbitrarily such persons; and forced or compulsory child labor, including its worst forms.
“The United States cannot proudly affirm human rights to be at the center of our foreign policy, while it arms a regime at war with its own people,” Dr. Paul wrote in an op-ed on the subject, titled “Why I want to kill Biden’s massive US-Egyptian arms deal.” “That is why I will force the Senate to vote on a resolution that would cancel the latest military sale to Egypt’s criminal masters. Partially taking away some military aid while offering new sales is weakness in the face of repression. Mere slaps on the wrist cannot hide the inescapable fact that the United States has handsomely rewarded Egypt as it degenerated into one of the most autocratic places on the globe. America should in no uncertain terms demonstrate that we will no longer strengthen a strongman.”
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