November 9, 2022
Andrea Prasow, Executive Director of the Freedom Initiative, arrived in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Wednesday to attend the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) and ensure human rights remain at the forefront of the climate discussion.
“I’m excited to join activists from around the world in drawing attention to the human rights crisis in Egypt. Few Egyptian human rights defenders can even attend the climate conference, either because they are in prison or on travel ban. I take seriously my obligation – as one of the privileged few who can attend – to ensure world leaders don’t brush these abuses under the rug and commit to a world that sustains not only the planet but the rights of the people living on it” said Prasow.
Prasow’s trip comes against the backdrop of an increasing number of arrests in Egypt in the lead up to COP27. According to local independent media, hundreds of people were arrested in October and November and at least 165 were brought before the state security prosecution in the last two weeks alone.
On Tuesday, the State Department confirmed that President Joe Biden will meet Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi while in Egypt for COP27. The Freedom Initiative and other organizations have warned that the administration should secure progress on human rights before any meeting with the Egyptian president during COP27.