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A Letter to Hillary Clinton Regarding the Meeting with Sisi
Meeting a ruler who is internationally recognized as a "People's Oppressor" is a shameful human act, not a mere presidential campaign activity. We are calling upon you to cancel your proposed meeting with the coup leader and oppressor of Egypt, which is scheduled to take place during the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Today, tens of millions of Egyptians are suffering following the corrupt coup which saw thousands of innocent people killed, tens of thousands of political activists and leaders detained, huge numbers sentenced to die, and numerous human rights codes violated on a massive scale. All political alternatives to the current military regime, and its tyrannical leader, have been crushed through the systematic use of force, fear, and intimidation, with many opposition leaders forced into exile.
These violations are no secret to you, or to your campaign – they have been reported repeatedly in international news. Amnesty International has released more than one report documenting the forced disappearances and torture perpetuated by the Sisi regime. Your own running mate, Senator Tim Kaine, is aware of them, and has gone public more than once to denounce these violations in the past three years.
Meeting such a thug would discredit your reputation among those who respect human rights in all nations, not only those in Egypt and the US. Sisi can only be compared to killers and thugs such as Slobodan Milosevic, whom the US media used to call "The Butcher of the Balkans." Would you have met Milosevic, if he were still alive, as part of your campaign?
It is hard to accept the reported reasons for your proposed meeting with Sisi. No respected politician would meet a killer to show that he or she is versed in international politics. Sisi is not a respected politician – he is no more than a thug and a killer. We believe it is outrageous for a US presidential candidate to meet such a person, and thus ignore his disgraceful human rights record.
We can only wonder: Does Hillary Clinton support a military coup in America? If the answer is no, why would she then support and meet a military thug who stole the political process in Egypt and deprived millions of voters of their lawful rights to choose their own leaders and live in a free and democratic country, for which they made great sacrifices after the revolution of 2011. Human rights are universal rights, not political games.
Today, we are deeply worried about the current course of Egyptian-US political relations, and the lack of credible scenarios for removing the causes of instabilities in this relationship. It is generally perceived in Egypt that the US continues to support dictators while ignoring people's rights and crushing their aspirations.
This proposed meeting is a wrong step at the wrong time with the wrong leader, and goes against the wrong people. Egyptians still recall your reluctance, as the US Secretary of State, to endorse the Egyptian revolution during January 2011. It is generally taken as fact in Egypt that you were initially opposed to the revolution.
In January 2011, you said: "Our assessment is that the Egyptian government is stable and is looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people." You then stated: "As a partner, we strongly believe that the Egyptian government needs to engage immediately with the Egyptian people in implementing needed economic, political, and social reforms." Are you still willing to raise those concerns for the cause of Egyptians, and against the coup leader?
Today, the situation in Egypt is even worse than in 2011 in economic, political, and social terms. This is not because Egyptians did not fight for their aspirations – they did, and will continue to do so. Instead, this is partially because the US has again made the wrong choice of siding with a coup leader against the wishes of the people. We ask: Is the US planning to continue to endorse killers and thugs in Egypt?
If you intend to attack your opponent in the upcoming election for praising dictators, you should not then befriend one! When Egyptians were suffering from injustices under former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, you referred to him and his wife as "friends of my family." While Sisi was busy killing and detaining innocent Egyptians, you and your husband met him in 2014, and posed proudly for a photo opportunity. Later that year, you said in your book that you anticipated a difficult time for Egypt-US relations!
Nevertheless, you portrayed Sisi in a positive light, claiming that he "appears to be following the classic mold of Middle Eastern strongmen."
We strongly believe that it is time to implement a different strategy, one that will allow the United States to side with the people of Egypt, not the oppressors of Egypt. This strategy must begin with sending a strong message. Canceling the meeting with Sisi would be perceived by the people of Egypt as a step in the right direction.
If you insist on meeting a "People's Oppressor" then we request that you also meet with a "People's Delegation."
Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, when discussing US policies in the Middle East region, once said: "For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in the region. And we achieved neither."
It is time for the US to support freedom and democracy, not oppression and dictatorship, in Egypt. It is not too late to be right. We call upon you to do it: Cancel this dishonorable meeting. Do not meet the "Butcher of Egypt."
Taghieer, Namik Kemal Mah. 169 Sk. No.39 -4 143
Esenyurt, Istanbul Turkey 11345