The United States Needs to Step Up on Their Imposed Sanctions on Egypt


Essam Sharaf

The Biden Administration ended the seven year long War of Terrorism with Egypt on Saturday, Sept. 11. Photo courtesy of Essam Sharaf.

Sarah Wollney, Reporter

The Biden Administration finally ended the War on Terror after seven years on Saturday, Sept. 11. The United States’ involvement made the situation there worse than ever. Not only is Afghanistan in a rough political state, but many surrounding countries are as well, including Egypt, Iran, and the Tunisia Republic. Since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi rose to power with the help of the military in 2014, Egypt has had an increasing number of ‘shootouts’ with so-called terrorists. Supporters of the previous president, Mohamed Morsi, had a sit-in against President al-Sisi and his actions in 2013, which resulted in the death of 817 people by the military. Besides these deaths, at least 755 Egyptian citizens have been killed as alleged terrorists between January 2015 and December 2020.

These executions were carried out without any trial or by rule of law. The Egyptian Government has intentionally created a loophole to allow this violence. The police force is allowed to suppress anyone whom they deem as a rebel or a threat to their freedom by any means necessary. The Egyptian Government and Ministry published reports blaming the shootouts on Islamic group The Muslim Brotherhood (TMB). While TMB had a violent past, in the 1980s, they chose to focus on their religious side. Now they’re a group of political activists and advocate for peace. TMB was labeled a terrorist group by the Government, and many were taken prisoner or killed during the initial military takeover in 2013.

In addition, many peaceful journalists and political activists are also being held in prisons before their trial takes place, with sentences exceeding Egypts maximum of two years. They are all being held on terrorism charges. However, with COVID-19’s outbreak, those held in tightly packed prisons are enduring even more demanding conditions. Because authority figures have complete control and do not receive punishment, their action against the prisoners includes torture and forced disappearances.

The U.S. needs to impose targeted sanctions on Egypt and help with the release of innocent protesters. We can see from the “War on Terror” and everything happening in Afghanistan this year that starting a war with Egypt could ultimately make the situation worse or turn into another ‘endless war’. We could also assign blame to the U.S. for the treatment of Egyptians. Since 1922, the U.S. has given Egypt over $50 billion in military funds. However, it seems unlikely that the U.S. would take action against Egypt due to them being allies since their freedom from the United Kingdom in 1922. Despite this, the U.S. needs to step up so Egyptians do not have to fear for their life.