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US: Egypt’s ‘human rights schedule continues to deteriorate’

The US administration has accused the Egyptian government of failure to investigate human rights violations committed by the security forces, protect minorities, or granting access to US observers into the Sinai, according to a State Department memo cited by the Associated Press.

The memo was sent by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Congress on 22 August but it was not released to the public at the time and was only made available to the Associated Press yesterday. The month of August witnessed a US decision to cut its aid to Egypt, the second largest recipient of US military aid after Israel.

The State Department was required to submit the memo on Egypt to Congress in order to be able to continue to release aid to the Middle Eastern country.

“The overall human rights climate in Egypt continues to deteriorate … There is a continuing problem with arbitrary arrests, detentions, disappearances. There are reports of extrajudicial killings. There are numerous allegations of torture and deaths in detention.” The Associated Press quotes the memo as saying.

The US news agency expected the memo to cause resentment on part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, who is expected to have met US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

Cairo has not commented on the memo as of yet.

Last month, the US administration cut down $100 million in aid to Egypt but it said it was still giving the country $200 million on the condition that the Egyptian authorities make improvements with regard to human rights.

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