“UN climate conference highlights human rights abuses in Egypt” – Financial Times
British newspapers published on Monday focused on the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) held in Egypt’s resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and discussed many files including Egypt’s human rights record unveiled by the summit.
Starting with the Financial Times and a report by Andrew England from London and Heba Saleh from Cairo entitled “The United Nations Climate Conference Highlights Human Rights Violations in Egypt”.
From a small blue tent outside Britain’s Foreign Office, Sanaa Seif has been leading a protest, trying to secure her brother’s release from custody in Egypt, as Sharm el-Sheikh prepares to host world leaders at COP27 .
According to the report, Seif, like many Egyptians, hopes the climate conference will provide a rare opportunity to shed international light on the country’s poor human rights record.
“The conference is an opportunity for all eyes to turn to Egypt, an opportunity to speak and get some air,” Seif said, surrounded by pictures of her imprisoned brother, Alaa Abdel Fattah.
“Life can be saved if the human rights situation continues to escalate and if governments take this into account in their negotiations with the Egyptian authorities,” she added.
According to the report, Alaa Abdel Fattah is one of thousands of prominent political prisoners detained by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime since the former army chief seized power in a popular-backed coup in 2013.
According to the report, Seif’s protest and the detention of Abdel Fattah have already drawn the attention of climate activists, including climate activist Greta Thunberg, who attended her tent sit-in as a show of solidarity.
Amnesty International also used a rare press conference in Cairo on Sunday to call for the immediate release of Abdel Fattah, who has been on a partial hunger strike for more than 200 days.
“Time is running out, so if the authorities don’t want it to end in a death they can prevent, they need to act now,” Agnès Callamard, secretary-general of Amnesty International, told the newspaper. ”
Callamard added that although 776 political prisoners were released this year, Cairo has arrested another 1,500 people since April.
According to the report, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wrote to Saif on Saturday that the British government was “fully committed” to solving her brother’s case and that it “remains a priority”.
The authors add that dozens of British MPs have raised the issue of Abdel-Fattah in recent weeks, while 15 Nobel Prize winners for literature have urged heads of state to use the summit to address the issue of political prisoners in Egypt.
Hossam Bahgat, head of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, an independent advocacy group based in Cairo, said the government had released about 800 political prisoners this year and promised to engage in political dialogue with civil society and opposition parties.
Block legal websites
And we turn to the Guardian newspaper and a report by Ruth Michaelson entitled ‘Internet service at climate conference blocks human rights and major news sites’.
The author says that attendees at the climate conference were surprised that the conference’s Internet connection prevented access to Human Rights Watch’s website, as well as other important news sites needed for information during the talks.
According to the report, HRW will present a panel discussion at COP27 in conjunction with Amnesty International, whose website will be accessible via the conference’s Wi-Fi. The author adds that blogging platforms Medium, Mada Masr and Al Jazeera are also among the blocked sites.
The author says many observers and attendees at the conference fear that barriers to online communication are part of Egyptian authorities’ efforts to separate vital climate talks from human rights issues and control what attendees can see about Egypt’s decades-long record of oppression.
Mass layoffs on Twitter
And we turn to the Telegraph and an opinion piece by Matthew Lane entitled “Twitter’s mass layoffs are a testament to the flaws of working at home.”
The author says that Twitter has laid off half of its workforce. Meta, the company that owns Facebook and WhatsApp, will begin a layoff process that is believed to be followed by Google and Amazon as well. The author says it won’t be long before marketing firms, banks, and consulting firms take a similar action
He says some explain this significant fall in employment with the state of the world economy, but he believes the main reason is working from home.
The author says that when you are out of the office you are invisible and if the work can be done remotely it can also be done in another country at a lower cost.
He sees that when people started working from home, they became invisible and their bosses didn’t know what they were doing all day.
He adds that if the work can be done remotely, it can also be done by someone in a completely different country at a lower cost.
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