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EU Parliament pushes for ban on exporting monitoring technology to Egypt
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The European Union Parliament has issued a resolution urging member countries to impose a wide ban on the exports of intrusion and surveillance technologies in Egypt, citing violations of basic human rights since a military-backed government assumed power last year.

The resolution, published in detail on the parliament’s official website on Thursday, said that such technologies could be used to spy on citizens. The ban should be implemented in compliance with the Wassenaar Agreement on the exports of military aid or security equipment that could be used to breach basic rights, it said.

The EU Parliament also called on member countries to work on supporting a similar resolution in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council, and to “initiate an international investigation into the killings of protesters and allegations of torture and ill treatment by security forces over the past year.”

The document highlighted several incidents of human rights violations, especially recent convictions against a group of Egyptian and international journalists involved in the Al Jazeera English case, in which they received seven to 10-year prison sentences for terrorism related charges.

“An estimated 1,400 protesters have been killed as a result of excessive and arbitrary use of force by security forces since July 2013,” the resolution continued, “whereas not a single security official has been held accountable for such acts or other abuses against protesters over the past year; whereas the fact-finding committee established in December 2013 is widely seen to have failed so far to provide a thorough, credible and impartial investigation into the violent incidents since July 2013.”

The parliament also expressed its concern regarding the recent court convictions of political opponents under Egypt’s Anti-Terrorism Law, exhorting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to guarantee that no death penalties would be implemented in those cases and to pardon those convicted.

The contentious Protest Law and NGO Law should be repealed or amended, the resolution argued, stressing that existing and future legislation must be in compliance with the country’s constitution and international standards.

“[The EU Parliament] expresses again its strong solidarity with the Egyptian people in the current period of troubled transition in their country,” the resolution concluded, and “calls for a common strategy among the member states toward Egypt.”

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