Sale of 30 Rafale to Egypt shows French support for Amnesty International

Rafales of the French Air Force.

© RFI / Olivier Fourt

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France confirms the information revealed yesterday by the Disclose media.

Egypt has ordered 30 Rafale fighter jets for 4 billion euros.

For human rights organizations, on the contrary, it is a blank check given to the Egyptian regime, among the most repressive in the world.


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 This strengthens the strategic military partnership 

" between the two countries, said the Minister of Defense, Florence Parly this Tuesday morning.

I welcome the sale of 30 Rafale to Egypt, a strategic partner.

This export success is crucial for our sovereignty and the maintenance of 7,000 industrial jobs in France for 3 years.

The Rafale once again demonstrates its technological and operational excellence.

- Florence Parly (@florence_parly) May 4, 2021

It is an economic question, but also a security one, according to the French authorities.

But for Aymeric Elluin, Weapons Advocacy Officer at Amnesty International, it is above all a support for Abdel Fattah al-Sissi accused of practicing torture in particular:

 The object of the debate is that you have a country which has one of the worst reputations for violating human rights in the world.

So what we are doing, despite the declarations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which places human rights in its priorities, is that by selling weapons, you are structurally offering support to the regime. in place, who are known to practice torture, enforced disappearances, etc. 


Finally Egypt can do what it wants


Since the

coming to power of Mr. Sisi

, the Egyptian state has waged a fierce repression against all forms of opposition, religious or liberal. NGOs accuse Egypt of using weapons against civilians, in particular to suppress the opposition and activists. Cairo systematically refutes these accusations. But French President Emmanuel Macron

refused in December 2020 to make

the issue of human rights conditional on the strategic partnership with Cairo, while pleading for “

 democratic openness 


It is this unconditional strategic partnership that worries NGOs: "

 Moreover, what are the guarantees today that Rafales will never be used in violation of international law, for example in Libya?" And what guarantees do we have, that Egypt will respect international law more broadly, knowing that it is already violating the arms embargo on Libya,

wonders Aymeric Elluin.

So, it is a real questioning that must be done. And today, what is most worrying is that finally Egypt can do what it wants. The blank check granted by France to Egypt is:

"do what you want to your people, we will continue to sell you weapons. You can count on us"



►Also read: Sale of thirty Rafale fighter jets from France to Egypt: Cairo confirms


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