STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON MASS TRIAL IN EGYPT

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                 Contact: Julie Tarallo or Samantha Hiller

Wednesday, September 20, 2017                                                                    (202) 224-7130

STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON MASS TRIAL IN EGYPT

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on the mass trial in Egypt in which hundreds of people were unjustly sentenced to prison, including American citizen Ahmed Etiwy:

“While it was encouraging to see the acquittal of Ibrahim Halawa, hundreds of other innocent people were unjustly sentenced in a mass trial involving 494 defendants, including American citizen Ahmed Etiwy. The trial defied any judicial precedent and reveals significant deficiencies of rule of law in Egypt. It is time for the Egyptian Judiciary to restore its reputation as an independent, non-politicized branch of government and either retry each of the defendants in line with international due process standards or commute their sentences.

“Nearly 20 American citizens, NGO workers, and thousands of Egyptian dissidents remain behind bars under a deeply restrictive anti-protest law that infringes on internationally recognized rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. This is part of a troubling crackdown on civil society and independent voices across Egypt that threatens to undermine Egypt’s long-term security and stability. Congress should strengthen democratic benchmarks and human rights conditions on U.S. assistance for Egypt in order to hold the Government of Egypt accountable for its human rights violations.”

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