An alliance of Extinction Rebellion, Fridays for Future, theleftberlin, the LINKE Berlin LAG Internationals and Egyptian human rights activists are jointly demanding a clear positioning of German foreign policy towards human rights violations in Egypt.
On 6th November, the 27th World Climate Conference will be taking place in Sharm-el- Sheikh, Egypt. The main discussion at the summit will be which measures are necessary to defend the effects of the climate crisis on the countries most seriously affected. And who must pay for this.
A German delegation is also travelling to this important conference. Human rights movements worldwide are criticising General Abdel Fatah el-Sisi’s abuse of the event for his own propaganda and to cover up repression, police violence and torture in his own country,
As a climate justice movement and in solidarity with Egyptian human rights activists, we want to point out the compelling connections between climate crisis, human rights abuse and political calculation before the summit begins. With the rally and subsequent demonstration, we are addressing the German foreign minister and the Egyptian embassy in Berlin.
There are now an estimated 60,000 political prison in Egypt. Torture and murder are on the agenda. Press and scholarship are drastically censored. An independent report of environmental and health dangers from industry or transport in Egypt is impossible. But the host of COP27, General el-Sisi, practices green propaganda with paper straws and solar panels to affect the mood of the international guests and present himself as the defender of the African continent.
El-Sisi is being advised by a large US-American PR agency: Hill&Knowlton. In the past, Hill&Knowlton led a Greenwashing campaign for the tobacco industry. It is currently doing the same for oil and gas corporations. This is beyond satire. An agency, which is painting the public image of climate-damaging industries green, is responsible for organising the PR for the most important climate conference of our time. We denounce this!
This entanglement of industry and politics cannot remain without comment! Human rights must be valid worldwide and we will not allow them to be treated as an uncomfortable footnote. Debates about climate protection without an open civil society and political freedom are a farce.
Germany is one of the most important financial sponsors and trade partners of Egypt, and could be able to exert influence. But instead of demanding that el-Sisi adhere to human rights, foreign minister Annalena Baerbock has offered el-Sisi another stage through the joint organisation of the “Petersberg Climate Dialogue” in July in Berlin, at which the ruthless dictator could be presented as a “green leader”.
With our rally and demonstration on Friday, 4th November 2022 in Berlin, we want to provide a voice and a face for those people who the Egyptian dictator el-Sisi is trying to silence: activists in the country’s prisons and representatives of the resistance in exile. And we want to honour those who have been killed in the fight for freedom and dignity.
We demand that our foreign minister Annalena Baerbock raises the catastrophic situation of human rights in Egypt at COP27.
We demand that German foreign policy connects all financial or political joint work with the dictator Abdel Fatah el-Sisi with clear conditions.
NGOs, journalists and civil society must be granted access to the debate about climate protection methods, political prisoners must be released and the repression of critics must be immediately stopped.
We will start at the Green party headquarters where we will hand over a letter to Frau Baerbock. From there we will march to the Egyptian embassy, where we will hold up photos of political prisoners and read out personal letters and histories of people affected by el-Sisi’s politics.
Rally and Demo on 4th November 2022
Start: 12 noon
Green Party headquarters
Platz vor dem Neuen Tor 1
This call to action was issued by Extinction Rebellion Berlin with the support of Free Alaa, Fridays for Future, die LINKE Berlin LAG Internationals, theleftberlin, Occupy Cop 27 and others. The open letter to Annalena Baerbock will be published on theleftberlin.com on Tuesday, 1st November
Suggested Further Reading:
Hossam el-Hamalawy Putting Slogans to the Test
- Naomi Klein From Blah, Blah, Blah to Blood, Blood, Blood
Sahar Aziz Egypt Isn’t Qualified to Host COP27
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights EIPR publishes a new research paper on health and climate change in Egypt
- OpenDemocracy PR firm accused of greenwashing big oil is helping organise COP27
The Guardian: Greta Thunberg to skip ‘greenwashing’ Cop27 climate summit in Egypt
Interview with Hossam el-Hamalawy “This is a circus or a charade in order to greenwash the Egyptian military dictatorship”