Despite the fact that the European Union agreed to an embargo against selling weapons to Egypt, nearly half the countries in the union disregarded the embargo and provided Egypt with arms.
Al Jazeera reports that according to Amnesty International, these countries are now at risk for being seen as accessories to the killing, torture, and disappearances taking place in Egypt. The embargo was instated in 2013 after peaceful protestors were killed in Cairo. Even though the embargo is still in place, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK still recently sold weapons to Egypt.
In 2014, 290 different licenses for weapons sales were granted by European Union countries, totaling a profit of $6.77 billion for these nations. These countries sold many different weapons to Egypt, including armored vehicles, small arms, ammunition, and surveillance equipment.
“Almost three years on from the mass killings that led the EU to call on its member states to halt arms transfers to Egypt, the human rights situation has actually deteriorated,” Magdalena Mughrabi, who currently serves as interim deputy and Middle East and North Africa programme director at Amnesty International, told Al Jazeera.
“We would like to see an embargo on all items that are used by the internal security forces in these sorts of serious violations,” added Brian Wood, who is in charge of arms control at Amnesty International. “We want perpetrators to be brought to justice because you cannot have a secure country without respect for human rights and the rule of law. The Egyptian government is on a completely wrong course.”
In 2015, human rights organizations total 1,250 disappearances, 267 killings, and 40,000 political prisoners in Egypt. The European Union is planning to revise their views on Egypt in light of these recently reported facts. Human rights groups will continue to pressure the EU, hoping they will strengthen their embargo against Egypt.