CAIRO (AP/Middle East Eye) – Germany has complained to Egypt’s government that the host country’s security services have been surveying its activities at the UN climate summit (Cop27), according to German media.
Egyptian security services have been accused of monitoring and filming events at Germany’s pavilion at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort where the conference is held.
The German embassy in Egypt is reportedly the institution that lodged the complaint with Cairo and asked for the monitoring to stop.
“We expect all participants in the UN climate conference to be able to work and negotiate under safe conditions,” said Annalena Baerbock, Germany’s foreign minister, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA).
“This is not just true for the German but for all delegations, as well as representatives of civil society and the media.”
Germany’s activities focused on highlighting the climate crisis as well as Egypt’s human rights situation, including the situation of political prisoners.
Both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International participated in such events, as well as Sanaa Seif, an Egyptian activist and film editor who was previously imprisoned in Egypt, and who is also the sister of imprisoned activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah.
Germany’s events delivered strong criticism towards the host country’s government, as Egyptian officials who joined the talks interrupted the events by taking photos, videos and using other disruptive interventions.
Meanwhile, the family of Abd el-Fattah says that he has started drinking water again.
“I’m so relieved. We just got a note from prison to my mother, Alaa is alive, he says he’s drinking water again as of November 12th,” his sister posted on Twitter on Monday.
“It’s definitely his handwriting. Proof of life, at last,” she wrote.
Abd el-Fattah, 40, is among Egypt’s most prominent pro-democracy activists. He has spent most of the last decade behind bars in a Cairo prison.
In 2015, he was sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of violating protest laws two years earlier, when now-president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led a coup against former President Hosni Mubarak’s successor Mohamed Morsi.
There has been growing concern about Abd el-Fattah’s fate as he started a hunger strike to protest his years-long detention by Egyptian authorities on charges of spreading disinformation. He has also drawn attention to the cause of other political prisoners.