Human right groups reveal French complicity in torture in Egypt
14 July 2018
Several major corporations and successive governments in France were and are actively participating in the repression of the Egyptian people by the current military dictatorship. They are active accomplices in mass surveillance of the population aiming to identify political opponents to be tortured and disappeared, and in arming the military junta of General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
This is the conclusion of a 64-page report titled “Egypt: repression made in France,” published on July 2 by a group of human rights organizations including the Human Rights League (LDH). It documents the explosive growth since Sisi’s coup in 2013 of the French sales of weapons and mass surveillance material to Egypt, as well as the support of presidents François Hollande and Emmanuel Macron for Sisi.
At the “heart of the repressive machinery” supported by France in Egypt, the report states, is the “omnipresent surveillance of the population.” The report points to Egyptian domestic intelligence’s systematic acquisition of mass spying equipment and wholesale interception of communications. The regime carries out “massive and constant surveillance of digital activism” and aims to turn “social media into an intelligence asset for the authorities.”
This surveillance, made possible by France, produces “systematic and grave violations” of human rights, the report continues: “Human rights violations due to surveillance by Egyptian intelligence of communications and digital activity go from simple arrests to heavy prison terms and include arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, extrajudicial executions, torture leading to death, rape, and the public broadcasting of private…