Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

As Mubarak Cracks down, Global Business Leaders Plan to tell him “enough!”

As reported by Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of the Middle East and North Africa division of the Human Rights Watch, global business leaders gathered in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on May 20, 2006. They were there to discuss “the new positive dynamics in the region’s politics” at the World Economic Forum’s annual Middle East meeting. This meeting comes in the wake of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s recent crack down on Egyptians campaigning for democracy and political reform in Cairo.
The plan for the meeting began one year ago before, as reported by Whitson, under pressure from Washington, the Egyptian government allowed political demonstrations that called for the end of Mubarak’s 25 year reign. During the election period Mubarak allowed the demonstrations to occur, while he “promised not to renew the hated emergency laws that allowed the government to restrict things like the freedom of speech and assembly.” Whitson reports that this was enough to bring back Mubarak supporter’s into power. The allowance of demonstrations was quickly demolished after the elections and today “hopes for political reform lay under the boots of security forces sent out to crush peaceful dissent.”
“Stability and the rule of law count heavily in the investments of business people.” Whitson notes that “global business leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum have the chance to do what Egypt prevents its own citizens from freely doing: call on Hosni Mubarak to end the governments attack on peaceful critics and embark on the reforms that Egypt’s economy and society desperately need.
To read the article in full click http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/05/20/egypt13427.htm


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