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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Egypt: Human Rights Seven Years After the Revolution

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 2:30pm
2255 Rayburn House Office Building


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on the current human rights situation in Egypt.

In 2011, the world watched the Egyptian revolution with awe and trepidation as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets to press for the universal rights they had been denied. Egyptians and the international community were filled with both hope and fear over the kind of government that might develop in the space created by the resignation of President Mubarak. Almost seven years after the revolution, has the human rights situation improved in Egypt?

In August 2017, the Trump Administration announced its intention to withhold foreign aid to Egypt citing a lack of progress on human rights and democracy. Earlier this year President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified a new NGO law that restricts civil society groups in Egypt from implementing developmental and charity programs outside of government control. Other laws have passed placing state control over media outlets, expanding the President’s power to appoint members of top judicial bodies, limiting the freedom of Coptic Christians to build and maintain churches, and criminalizing peaceful protesting and political activity.

Thousands of prisoners languish in Egyptian prisons without charges, access to legal counsel, due process, or proper food and medical care. Political prisoners and LGBTQ people undergo torture and harsh treatment in solitary confinement. Egypt’s Coptic Christians continue to endure persecution at the societal level and by the state, with several church closures in October alone.

Expert witnesses will present testimony addressing each of these different aspects of the human rights situation in Egypt, and will offer recommendations on how the United States government can more effectively engage the Egyptian government on these issues.

This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via YouTube on the Commission website,, and will also be available for viewing on House Digital Channel 51. For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at 202-226-1516 or or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-225-3599 or

Hosted by:

Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Opening Remarks


Panel I

  • Amy Hawthorne, Deputy Director for Research, Project on Middle East Democracy
    Written testimony
  • George Gurguis, President, Coptic Solidarity
    Written testimony
  • Joe Stork, Former Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
    Written testimony
  • Michele Dunne, Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
    Written testimony


Submitted for the Record

  • Statement by His Holiness Pope Tawadros II
  • Letter from Rev. Andrea Zaki Stephanous, President of the Protestant Churches of Egypt




115th Congress