Egypt/Saudi Arabia: Gizawy’s case uncovers accumulations of Saudi repression against Egyptian workers
No to status quo and political and economic blackmail – Yes to respectful and dignified relations
Cairo, 30 April 2012
ANHRI said today that the case of Ahmed al-Gizawy, Egyptian lawyer detained in Saudi Arabia, has triggered a crisis that already existed for several reasons. It is a consequence of a long history of abuse and injustice suffered by many Egyptians in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, especially the unprivileged workers who complain of the Saudi Ministry of Interior or the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which fails to protect their rights and dignity.
The Case of al-Gizawy was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Angry protests rejecting the bad conditions of a large number of Egyptians in Saudi Arabia took to streets. Recently, the Saudi ambassador has left Egypt and all the Saudi consulates in Egypt have been closed.
“There is no problem of any kind with the Saudi people. However, there are many problems with the Saudi regime and its ongoing repressive practices against foreign workers in general, and the workers of the poor countries in particular. With regard to Egyptian workers, no so long ago did ANHRI file a lawsuit to expel Ahmed Aboul-Ghait, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Egyptian ambassador in Saudi Arabia during the rule of the dictator Mubarak due to their negligence and inaction in the protection of Egyptian detained for years in Saudi Arabia with no investigations or trial, such as Youssef Ashmawy who has been detained since 2008,” said ANHRI. For more information on Ashmawy’s case: http://www.anhri.net/en/?p=
“It is time to reconsider the extremely harsh situation of Egyptian workers in Saudi Arabia. Law and values of human rights must govern their conditions. It is not fair to consider the case of al-Gizawy apart from the reasons that led to the loss of confidence in the values of justice and rule of law in Saudi Arabia because that would mean ongoing anger under the surface. If the Saudi government is appalled that some angry young men in Egypt have “crossed the line”, then it should understand that the revolution of dignity in Egypt did not exclude the Egyptians abroad. It also has to remember that the Egyptian revolution had backed the release of several Saudis charged with criminal offences from Egyptian prisons. Rather than recalling the Saudi ambassador in an action that might be misinterpreted into political blackmail and enforcement of status quo, the Saudi government should have taken the initiative of reciprocity, or at least codified the conditions of many Egyptians unjustly detained without investigations or trial for years,” added ANHRI.
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