Since its inception in 1915 WILPF has condemned violence as a means of dispute resolution, whether internal to a State or internationally. It brings neither legitimacy to those governments who rely upon it nor security for citizens which international law requires.
Peace and stability cannot be achieved through repression. Our solidarity goes out to the women and men of Egypt who are seeing their revolution, their “Spring”, taken from them by those who would seek to deny them their rights. We add our voices to those of our partners in Egypt to call for an end to military and paramilitary violence against any and all civilians and a peaceful transition to democracy, real democracy.
We note with particular concern that human rights activists are reporting unprecedented new levels of violence against women. Such violence is directly aimed at preventing women from exercising their right to peaceful participation in all matters of governance in this period of increasing political turbulence, it weakens the rule of law and it further undermines the possibility of achieving a legitimate democracy and the respect for human rights.
We note that the UK decided on Friday to revoke five export licences for military equipment to Egypt. We commend this decision and its intention to prevent further police and military assaults on civilian protesters.
We are also following EU discussions on stopping its aid support, and more importantly, ending arms sales to Egypt. We hope for a swift conclusion to this matter, and urge a continued commitment to civilian protection.
However, we express regret that the USA continues to refuse to cut military aid to Egypt’s Generals despite their deplorable authorization of the use of lethal violence against civilian protesters. While the cancellation of military operation Bright Star is a helpful step, it appears to have had little effect in achieving greater protection for protesters at street level.
We call on the regime and international observers to investigate reports that human rights abuses are now being perpetrated by multiple actors, with impunity and a reckless disregard for the rule of law on all sides. We call on the international community to exercise all diplomatic means to end the violence and add our voice to the call by human rights leaders for a full, impartial and effective investigation into the massive loss of life in the country over the past week since the declaration of the State of Emergency on Wednesday 14th August.
Read more about concrete actions WILPF is taking in the MENA region here.
August 20, 2013.