Source: Human Rights Watch
Author(s): Human Rights Watch
Original Link: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2021/country-chapters/egypt
Egyptians in 2020 continued to live under the harsh authoritarian grip of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government. Tens of thousands of government critics, including journalists and human rights defenders, remain imprisoned on politically motivated charges, many in lengthy pretrial detention. Authorities frequently used terrorism charges against peaceful activists and harassed and detained relatives of dissidents abroad.
Authorities used vague “morality” charges to prosecute female social media influencers for posts of themselves, as well as gang-rape witnesses following reporting of sexual assault cases online. Media close to the government smeared rape witnesses by publishing private photos and videos online without their consent.
The Covid-19 outbreak exacerbated dire detention conditions and dozens of persons detained on political grounds died in custody, including at least 14 who likely died of Covid-19 complications between March and July. Authorities arrested health workers who criticized the government’s Covid-19 response.
Security forces continued to operate with impunity in war-torn North Sinai.
The government closed schools nationwide from mid-March until they reopened with a reduced schedule in mid-October, affecting the education of an estimated 20 million students.
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