Activists Protest Egyptian Minister of FInance outside Chamber of Commerce; Say “No Business with Egyptian Junta”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK Co-founder, 415 235 6517, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alli McCracken, CODEPINK Organizer, 860 575 5692, Alli@codepink.org
Activists Protest Egyptian Minister of FInance outside Chamber of Commerce;
Say “No Business with Egyptian Junta”
Where: 1615 H St NW Washington, DC
When: 11am-1pm, April 10, 2014
Washington, DC –– While Egyptian Minister of Finance Hani Qadri Demian is “honored” at a luncheon at the US Chamber of Commerce, human rights activists from the peace group CODEPINK and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights will stage a protest calling for an end to US business with the Egyptian military junta. Visuals will include a caricature of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, former Defense Minister and coup leader who is now running for president of Egypt.
Given the terrible record of human rights abuses by the military government, and the key role the Egyptian military plays in the Egyptian economy, CODEPINK and other human rights activists maintain that the US should not be engaging in “business as usual.” Since overthrowing the Morsi government in July 2013, the Egyptian military has killed over 1,000 people and jailed over 16,000, and is clearly targeting people based on political affiliation.
“It’s shameful that at a time when the Egyptian government has murdered and jailed thousands of people, and just sentenced 529 people to death, that a high-level government official would be feted by the US Chamber of Commerce. US businesses should not invest in Egypt while these atrocious human rights abuses continue,” said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK who was recently violently arrested and deported from the Cairo airport in Egypt while enroute to join a delegation of women headed to Gaza for International Women’s Day.
Human rights advocates support the US State Department suspension of most US military aid to Egypt, and urge the State Department to go even further by rescinding funds going toward Egyptian military training. "There should be a cutoff of all military aid to Egypt because the government is using that money against the people of Egypt–– to threaten, harass, imprison and kill them,” said Ahmed Shehata, Vice President of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights.