French President Emmanuel Macron has been under heavy criticism following his meeting with Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on the sidelines of the G7 summit.
A coalition of over 20 international human rights groups and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) lambasted el-Sissi's human rights violations record, while calling on Macron to denounce the worsening "human rights crisis" under the el-Sissi regime. Macron was criticized in 2017 for saying it was not up to him to "lecture" Egypt on liberties. France is a key exporter of arms to Egypt and other security partners in the region, particularly in Libya.
The shocking death of Egypt's first and only democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, in an Egyptian courtroom has cast a spotlight on the dire conditions faced by political prisoners in the country. According to the Arab Organization for Human Rights, over 700 Egyptian prisoners have died as a result of medical negligence since 2011. In 2013, the then-Defense Minister el-Sissi led a bloody military coup, ousting Morsi. Since then, a harsh crackdown on dissidents, not only from the Muslim Brotherhood but anyone who opposed el-Sissi, has commenced. A recent constitutional referendum last month paved the way for el-Sissi to remain in power until 2030. Despite the country's struggle for economic improvement, human rights violations have become alarming. Human rights groups and NGOs have said conditions in detention centers, including medical and nutritional supplies, are insufficient.