AFTE Joins Landscapes of Hope Call for Solidarity and Action on Gaza

Date : Sunday, 22 October, 2023
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Petition by 90 civil society organizations addressed to:

The UN Secretary General

The Speaker of the EU Parliament

The  European  Union Commissioner

The Secretary General of the International Committee for the Red Cross

Over the past few days, the Gaza strip, one of the most densely populated places in the world and home to more than 2.2 million Palestinians living in 365 square kilometers, of which more than half are children, has been under a massive military onslaught by the Israeli army. Gaza’s population, which has been under a tight and suffocating siege for nearly 17 years, is largely made up of Palestinian refugees displaced from Israel’s crawling occupation. So far, more than 2,500 people have been killed, untold thousands injured, more than half a million forcibly displaced, including artists, writers and civil society leaders, and whole neighborhoods wiped out and flattened under heavy and indiscriminate Israeli bombardment. Israel has cut off all basic supplies including food, water, and fuel. Internet services were cut off on Friday as Israeli soldiers prepare a land invasion of the strip which they have been blockading from the sea, air and land for nearly two decades. This siege is preventing emergency humanitarian supplies that have been positioned on the Egyptian side of the border from entering. Hospitals are rapidly running out of supplies as international aid agencies are sounding alarm bells and warning that clear water and essential foodstuffs are running dangerously short endangering a whole people.

If not immediately addressed, the unfolding situation will result in one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has seen in decades. We call on all those around the world who believe in the basic tenets of humanity and justice to act now to help put a stop to this catastrophic humanitarian situation.

Nothing justifies the collective punishment of an entire population – of which the majority are children – and the limitless attacks on the Gaza Strip targeting Palestinian civilians, forcibly displacing them one more time, bombing their homes, schools and hospitals and destroying their infrastructure.  We grieve for all civilian lives lost and fear for the lives of all under imminent threat; no civilians should ever be targeted.

We are now requesting that you put all possible pressure on the Israeli government to take the following measures:

–    Immediately and without delay, open all crossing points to the Gaza Strip to allow all forms of humanitarian aid.
–    Restore fuel supply, electricity, water supply and communications to Gaza.
–    Allow forcibly displaced people to safely go back to their homes.
–        Accept an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

We are also asking you to exert all necessary efforts to end the 16-year long siege of Gaza, and to actively endorse a political process that would lead to a sustainable and just peace in Palestine.

We hope that our voices as representatives of civil society worldwide will be heard and that the lives of civilians in the Gaza Strip will be spared.

Signatories:

Organizations:

  1. 17 Mayıs LGBTQ+ Association – Turkey
  2. Acting Out: Voices from the Theatre in Palestine – France/East Jerusalem
  3. Action for Hope – Belgium
  4. Al Rafedina for Development – Iraq
  5. Aljumhuriya collective – Germany
  6. Ambulante – Mexico
  7. Antalya Feminist ​Collective – Turkey
  8. Arab Digital Expression Berlin e.V. – Germany
  9. Arab Digital Expression Foundation – Egypt
  10. Aradiba Culture Project – Sudan
  11. Artas Foundation – Switzerland
  12. Associazione Oltre…APS – Italy
  13. Bassra Injaz Foundation for development – Iraq
  14. Bodrum Women’s Solidarity Association – Turkey
  15. Book Forum Foundation – Iraq
  16. Bur​Hak Animals Right Center – Turkey
  17. CEECCNA Collaborative Fund – Central and Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central and North Asia
  18. Centro de Estudios de Derecho, Justicia y Sociedad -Dejusticia – Colombia
  19. Codhez – Venezuela
  20. Cotranspose – Greece
  21. ConArte – Mexico
  22. Counterpoints Arts – United Kingdom
  23. Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre – United Kingdom
  24. Cultural Survival – USA
  25. Dancing on the Edge – Netherlands
  26. Dawlaty – Lebanon
  27. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) – USA
  28. Digital Empowerment Foundation – India
  29. Digital Rights Foundation – Pakistan
  30. DisCO.coop – Spain
  31. Douzan Art and Culture – Syria
  32. Equality Studies Association – Turkey
  33. Ettijahat Independent Culture – Belgium / Lebanon
  34. Fadaat Foundation for Development – Yemen
  35. Fanni Raghman Anni – Tunisia
  36. Fethiye Women Solidarity Association ((Kadın Dayanışma Derneğ) – Turkey
  37. Fondation Marius Jacob – Belgium
  38. From the Lips to the Moon – UK
  39. Fundación Al Fanar para el Conocimiento Árabe – Spain
  40. Guerrilla Foundation – Germany
  41. Haitham Teaching Center – Lebanon
  42. Haki Nawiri Afrika – Kenya
  43. Haringey Welcome – United Kingdom
  44. Hessa6 – Libya
  45. Hiša! Association for People and Places – Slovenia
  46. Hope and Aid Direct – United Kingdom
  47. Human Rights Association- Ankara – Turkey
  48. In Place of War – UK and Global
  49. Jabuti Theatre – Scotland
  50. Jihan Seman Center – Syria
  51. Kadının İnsan Hakları İçin Kadınlar (Women for Women’s Human Rights) – Turkey
  52. Kaos GL Associatiom – Turkey
  53. Karwan e Mohabbat – India
  54. Kırmızı Biber Women’s Association (Kırmızı Biber Kadın Derneği) – Turkey
  55. Koza Women Association – Turkey
  56. L’Art Rue – Tunisia
  57. London Migration Film Festival
  58. Magamba Network – Zimbabwe
  59. Mandala Theatre Company – UK
  60. Marsa Foundation – Netherlands
  61. Megawra – Built Environment Collective – Egypt
  62. MedeArts
  63. Monstress Mess Kollektiv – Germany
  64. Nedkopplat – Swedish podcast – SwedenNew
  65. Theatre Institute of Latvia – Latvia
  66. Noon for Studies, Research and Documentation – Sudan
  67. On Ekim Dayanışması – Turkey
  68. Open Art Space – Syria
  69. Oyoun Berlin – Germany
  70. Racial Equity in Journalism Fund, Borealis Philanthropy – USA
  71. Reclaim The Sea – United Kingdom
  72. Sable & Chaux – Switzerland
  73. SH|FT – Sweden and global
  74. Shashat – Tunisian Association for Cinema and Culture – Tunisia
  75. Silva – Turkey
  76. Stereo for Arts and Culture – Palestine
  77. Sudan Film Factory – Sudan
  78. Syrian Center for Policy Research – Syria
  79. SWAN – Swedish Artist Residency network – Sweden
  80. Teatringestazione – Italy
  81. The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression – Egypt
  82. The Oslo Documentary Cinema (Oslo Dokumentarkino) – Norway
  83. The Ultimate Picture Palace – UK
  84. The William Gomes Podcast – United Kingdom
  85. Udjenza – Malta
  86. Unga Klara – Sweden national stage for young audiences – Sweden
  87. UNIVEG – Turkey
  88. Unlock the Chains Collective – UK
  89. Untold Stories e.V. – Germany
  90. zusa – art of collaboration – Germany

Individuals:

  1. Abigail Gibson – UK
  2. Aenan Mohamed Abdel Dafea Ibrahim – Sudan
  3. Agnes Kofoed Christianson – Stockholm, Sweden
  4. Agneta Fagerström Olsson – Sweden/Jordan
  5. Aine Crowley – Ireland
  6. Al Hady Al Shawaf – Sudan
  7. Amy Enticknap, Artistic Director, Human Story Theatre – UK
  8. Anas Younes – Syria
  9. April De Angelis
  10. Arifa Akbar – UK
  11. Ása Richardsdóttir – Iceland
  12. Athanasia Kanellopoulou – Greece
  13. Basma El Husseiny – Egypt
  14. Bassel Amin Monser – Yemen
  15. Bek berger – Australia / Latvia
  16. Catherine Sykes – UK
  17. Damien Toumi – France
  18. Despina Panagiotopoulou – Greece
  19. Elif Dila Ergenekon – Turkey
  20. Elliot Colbert – USA
  21. Fairooz Tamimi – Sweden/Jordan
  22. Farah AlHAddad – UK
  23. Farai Monro – Zimbabwe
  24. Fatma Othamn Mohamed Mostafa – Sudan
  25. Fiona Yuill – UK
  26. Ghassan Rahal – Lebanon
  27. Goran Tomka – Serbia
  28. Hamam Al Mortada – Libya
  29. Hamdi Al Jouini – Tunisia
  30. Hanane Hajali – Lebanon
  31. Harsh Mander – India
  32. Hatan Abo Bakr Alhaj – Sudan
  33. Henrik Dahl, actor/director – Sweden
  34. Hosam Althani – Libya
  35. Idris Ekla – Morocco
  36. Ina Riedel – Germany
  37. Ivko Sesic – Serbia
  38. Jan Gossens – Belgium/Tunisia
  39. Jo Ross – UK
  40. John King; freelance composer/musician – New York City, USA
  41. Jotham Sietsma – Germany
  42. Kate O’ Shea – Ireland
  43. Kelley Buhles – Switzerland
  44. Kholoud Eissa – Egypt
  45. Laila Hourani – Syria/Palestine
  46. Lamiaa Abdeldaiem – Egypt
  47. Laraine Kaizer-Viazovtsev – Finland
  48. Lucy Ellinson – UK
  49. Lucy Nabijou – UK
  50. Lydia Buchner – Italy
  51. Maja Pegan – Slovenia
  52. Mansoor Al Hajj – Yemen
  53. Mariam Metwally – Egypt
  54. Marie Paglinghi – Greece
  55. Mary Ann DeVlieg – Italy
  56. Matt Jennings – Northern Ireland
  57. Milan Đorđević – Serbia
  58. Milena Dragicevic Sesic – Serbia
  59. Mohamed Abo Kasim Mahjoub – Libya
  60. Mohamed Osman Ali – Sudan
  61. Mohammed Afridi – United Kingdom
  62. Mohammed Bassaleh – Morocco
  63. Moni Awolesi – USA
  64. Mostafa Abd Elghani – Egypt
  65. Motaz Abdel Halim Sayed Ahmad – Sudan
  66. Mya Fraser – UK
  67. Nan van Houte – Netherlands
  68. Natasha Badhwar – India
  69. Natasja van ‘t Westemde – Netherlands
  70. Nelly Abboud – Lebanon
  71. Petar Cigic – Serbia
  72. Quim Bigas – Spain/Denmark
  73. Ranwa Yehia – Egypt
  74. Rayya El Zein – United States
  75. Richard A Castilla Sippli – Brazil
  76. Rita Chadha – UK
  77. Roberta Ruggiero – Italy
  78. Roger Wilson – UK
  79. Rolf Christianson – Sweden
  80. Safaa Mohamed Jawad Aldahy – Iraq
  81. Saga Björklund Jönsson – Sweden
  82. Sarah Clément – France / Spain
  83. Seerat Khan – Pakistan
  84. Selma Ouissi – Tunisia
  85. Serhan Ada – Turkey
  86. Shama Alrashid Babikr Mostafa – Sudan
  87. Sofiane Ouissi – Tunisia
  88. Sonja Jankov – Serbia
  89. Stacco Troncoso – Spain
  90. Stefania Facco – Italy
  91. Stella Loretsyan – Armenia
  92. Suroor Mander – India
  93. Tareq Omar Andallah Mohamed – Sudan
  94. Trevor Richard Wells – Italy
  95. Ulrike Zomorrodian – Austria
  96. Višnja Kisić – Serbia
  97. William Nicholas Gomes – United Kingdom
  98. Yasmin Abdel Azim Al Saeed – Sudan
  99. Yota Tsotra – Switzerland

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Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt and human rights We, the undersigned Egyptian, regional and international human rights organisations, urge the European Commission and member states to uphold international and EU law to ensure that macro-financial assistance to Egypt granted under EU regulations secures concrete, measurable, structural and timebound human rights progress and reforms in the country. Since the 2013 military ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been ruled with an iron fist. Authorities have brutally and systematically silenced peaceful dissent, nearly wiped-out independent media and civil society, repressed political opposition, adopted and enacted repressive legislation, jailed tens of thousands of actual or perceived critics and severely undermined the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession. With very little civic, judicial, or parliamentary scrutiny, the authorities have faced virtually no accountability for their repressive policies and actions. In turn, this has contributed to the government’s failure to respect, protect and fulfil people’s social and economic rights, leading to setbacks for those most affected by the recurring economic crises in the country. From February 2024 onwards, Egypt’s donors including the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Kingdom and the European Union provided or pledged around 57 billion USD in grants and loans. As part of this process, donors should ensure that the Egyptian authorities pursue and effectively implement reforms that improve respect for human rights alongside greater transparency and accountability. Donors must also ensure that economic and fiscal measures implemented as part of these programs do not contribute to the further erosion of people’s economic and social rights, especially in light of the continuing rise in poverty rates since the adoption of the first IMF program in 2016, as well as the Egyptian government’s inadequate spending levels on social protection, health and education. Any agreed macroeconomic reforms must reflect and uphold the legal obligations of all parties with regard to economic and social rights, notably in the areas of labour rights and environmental justice, and corporate accountability. We believe that structural reforms to strengthen rule of law, guarantee fair trials, open civic space, uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom, and release all those arbitrarily detained, are crucial. Not only would they comply with Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations, but they would also address some of the root causes of Egypt’s financial and economic instability. This instability has severely impacted the economic and social rights of millions of people in Egypt, who will ultimately carry the burden of repaying Egypt’s debts, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalised situations. We note that EU regulations require that recipients of macro-financial assistance “adhere to the respect of human rights and effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law,” while the European Council stipulated that a precondition for granting the Union’s macro-financial assistance is that “Egypt continues to make concrete and credible steps towards respecting effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, and the rule of law, and guaranteeing respect for human rights.” However, what those “concrete and credible steps” should be is not defined in the Commission’s proposal. As the Commission and Egyptian authorities negotiate Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to regulate the disbursement of EU funds to Egypt up to 2027, we urge the European Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure that: 1) The MoUs lay out a roadmap for structural reforms, with public, clear, specific and timebound indicators, targets and benchmarks for Egypt to meet its human rights obligations. 2) Egyptian authorities immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 3) Egyptian authorities open civic and political space, by respecting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including before, during and after the 2025 parliamentary elections. If these steps are met the EU’s macro-financial assistance will contribute to concrete and lasting progress on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt, which is indispensable to ensure transparency and accountability, end impunity and help prevent the recurrence of economic crises in the country. Failing to set human rights benchmarks would instead be a blank check for further abuses and repression in Egypt. Signatories Amnesty International Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Committee for Justice Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF) Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) EgyptWide for Human Rights EuroMed Rights International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Human Rights Watch Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC) Minority Rights Group Refugees Platform In Egypt (RPE) Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt and human rights We, the undersigned Egyptian, regional and international human rights organisations, urge the European Commission and member states to uphold international and EU law to ensure that macro-financial assistance to Egypt granted under EU regulations secures concrete, measurable, structural and timebound human rights progress and reforms in the country. Since the 2013 military ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been ruled with an iron fist. Authorities have brutally and systematically silenced peaceful dissent, nearly wiped-out independent media and civil society, repressed political opposition, adopted and enacted repressive legislation, jailed tens of thousands of actual or perceived critics and severely undermined the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession. With very little civic, judicial, or parliamentary scrutiny, the authorities have faced virtually no accountability for their repressive policies and actions. In turn, this has contributed to the government’s failure to respect, protect and fulfil people’s social and economic rights, leading to setbacks for those most affected by the recurring economic crises in the country. From February 2024 onwards, Egypt’s donors including the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Kingdom and the European Union provided or pledged around 57 billion USD in grants and loans. As part of this process, donors should ensure that the Egyptian authorities pursue and effectively implement reforms that improve respect for human rights alongside greater transparency and accountability. Donors must also ensure that economic and fiscal measures implemented as part of these programs do not contribute to the further erosion of people’s economic and social rights, especially in light of the continuing rise in poverty rates since the adoption of the first IMF program in 2016, as well as the Egyptian government’s inadequate spending levels on social protection, health and education. Any agreed macroeconomic reforms must reflect and uphold the legal obligations of all parties with regard to economic and social rights, notably in the areas of labour rights and environmental justice, and corporate accountability. We believe that structural reforms to strengthen rule of law, guarantee fair trials, open civic space, uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom, and release all those arbitrarily detained, are crucial. Not only would they comply with Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations, but they would also address some of the root causes of Egypt’s financial and economic instability. This instability has severely impacted the economic and social rights of millions of people in Egypt, who will ultimately carry the burden of repaying Egypt’s debts, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalised situations. We note that EU regulations require that recipients of macro-financial assistance “adhere to the respect of human rights and effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law,” while the European Council stipulated that a precondition for granting the Union’s macro-financial assistance is that “Egypt continues to make concrete and credible steps towards respecting effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, and the rule of law, and guaranteeing respect for human rights.” However, what those “concrete and credible steps” should be is not defined in the Commission’s proposal. As the Commission and Egyptian authorities negotiate Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to regulate the disbursement of EU funds to Egypt up to 2027, we urge the European Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure that: 1) The MoUs lay out a roadmap for structural reforms, with public, clear, specific and timebound indicators, targets and benchmarks for Egypt to meet its human rights obligations. 2) Egyptian authorities immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 3) Egyptian authorities open civic and political space, by respecting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including before, during and after the 2025 parliamentary elections. If these steps are met the EU’s macro-financial assistance will contribute to concrete and lasting progress on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt, which is indispensable to ensure transparency and accountability, end impunity and help prevent the recurrence of economic crises in the country. Failing to set human rights benchmarks would instead be a blank check for further abuses and repression in Egypt. Signatories Amnesty International Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Committee for Justice Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF) Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) EgyptWide for Human Rights EuroMed Rights International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Human Rights Watch Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC) Minority Rights Group Refugees Platform In Egypt (RPE) Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)and human rights

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