Turkey and Egypt exchange harsh words on human rights violations

On Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi slammed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his harsh criticism of European leaders who attended a summit in Cairo earlier this week – just days after nine people were executed – al-Arabiya reported.

Erdogan, who denounced the execution of the nine men blamed for carrying out the 2015 murder of Egypt’s top prosecutor, accused the European Union (EU) of hypocrisy.

“The European Union and Arab League member countries gathered in Egypt at the invitation of putschist Sisi,” Erdogan said at a rally in the northwestern province of Giresun on Tuesday. Erdogan was referring to Egypt’s President who toppled Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood following a military coup back in 2013.

Sisi advocated the death penalty on Monday during the Arab-EU summit in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, arguing that they have ‘different cultures’. “You are not going to teach us about humanity,” he told reporters, targeting the European leaders.

“We have our own sense of humanity, values, ethics, and you have your own idea of humanity and ethics, and we respect it. Respect our values and ethics, as we do yours,” he said to reporters following the summit, according to local media.

Aimed at both Egypt and the EU, Erdogan asked, “Can we talk about democracy in those EU member countries that are against execution yet accepted the invitation by Sisi, who has executed 42 people, including 9 last week, since he came into power?”  According to rights groups, the executions in Egypt took place after unfair trials.

A harsh comeback to Erdogan’s statements was from Egyptian foreign ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, on Wednesday. “Turkish President Erdogan once again speaks to us about Egypt and its political leadership, clearly showing hatred, and, furthermore, expresses his continued embrace of the terrorist Brotherhood group,” Hafez said.

He slammed Erdogan, citing human rights transgressions in Turkey, referring to the 70,000 political prisoners, 175 imprisoned journalists, and the dismissal of 130,000 public servants in the country after the attempted coup.

“This narrative illustrates the lack of credibility of what the Turkish president is promoting,” Hafez added.

Cairo accused the Muslim Brotherhood and Gaza-based Hamas for the killing of Egypt’s chief prosecutor in 2015. Both groups denied any involvement.

Amnesty International’s survey, published on February 26, argues that Egyptian authorities intensified the crackdown on dissidents ‘in the run-up to presidential elections.’

Massive criticism sees eight policemen impeached after handing over a Sisi critic to Egypt  

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