The United States Lawmakers have written a letter urging Biden to issue the call to release Egyptian political prisoners ahead of the Cop27 climate conference summit in Egypt.
The senators are putting pressure on Biden to draw attention to Egypt’s repression of human rights, demand the release of political detainees, and promote the full participation of civil society in the summit.
Senators Jeff Merkeley, Dick Durbin, and Patrick Leahy, as well as Representatives Ro Khanna, Rashida Tlaib, and Barbara Lee, are among the signatories of the letter.
The lawmakers said they were “deeply troubled by the message it sends to the world that the Egyptian government is hosting COP27 while imprisoning tens of thousands of political prisoners – including many environmental activists”.
The letter added that Egypt’s history of flagrant human rights abuses is at odds with what the United States should anticipate from a significant international security ally.
At least 60,000 political prisoners are estimated to have been jailed since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew Mohamed Morsi.
The United States has a rare chance at COP27 to urge the Egyptian government to free these activists and show that it is committed to inclusive engagement with all stakeholders on climate solutions.
World leaders, including Biden, will be present at Cop27.
Additionally, the Biden administration will send a 16-person team to Cop27, which will include Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Michael Regan, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.