Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Egyptian embassies withholding identity papers from dissidents abroad

Egyptian embassies have been systematically refusing to provide or renew identity documents to dissidents, journalists and activists abroad in a crackdown on opposition that extends beyond Egypt’s borders, Human Rights Watch said. The U.S.-based group said it had interviewed 26 Egyptians living in countries including Turkey, Germany, Malaysia and Qatar last year, and had reviewed documents relating to nine of them. “By arbitrarily depriving its citizens abroad from obtaining valid passports and other identity documents, the Egyptian authorities are violating both the constitution and international human rights law,” HRW said. In Turkey, home to a large number of Egyptian opposition figures, Egypt’s consulate requires applicants for almost all services to fill out unofficial forms with private details including the reasons they left Egypt and links to social media accounts, HRW said. Those interviewed said it was “nearly impossible” to challenge refusals to provide documents, it added. (https://neuters.de/world/africa/egypt-withholding-identity-papers-dissidents-abroad-rights-group-2023-03-13/) Egypt’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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