Commenting on the presidential elections in Egypt scheduled for 26 to 28 March 2018, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (15 March):
The upcoming presidential elections in Egypt were meant to enable political participation by its citizens, to renew the democratic legitimacy of their political leaders and to strengthen social cohesion.
I fear, however, that in Egypt the opportunities brought by free and fair elections are not being seized.
I am particularly worried by numerous reports in the run up to the elections about the arrest and intimidation of potential candidates and their supporters, massive restrictions on the freedom of expression and of assembly, and repressive action against the independent media.
I urgently call on the Egyptian state organs to end the repression of civil society and of the media, and to enable all citizens of Egypt to exercise their freedom of expression, of assembly and of the press, as these are laid down in the Egyptian constitution.