This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

MEP: Europe must prioritize human rights and press freedom Egypt

Member of the European Parliament, Marietje Schaake (ALDE/D66), calls on EU High Representative Ashton to put press freedom and human rights at the top of the agenda in addressing Egypt. Today, the European Parliament will adopt a resolution on the situation in Egypt. "Although amendments to the constitution increased the rights of people in Egypt, the crisis in the country is far from solved. Journalists, bloggers, activists and members of the opposition are continually threatened, arrested and imprisoned." Intimidation of journalists Dutch journalist Rena Netjes fled from Egypt earlier this week after she was accused of being a member of a terrorist cell. "The Egyptian authorities use these kinds of charges to intimidate and control the media." A number of journalists working for Al Jazeera have been in prison for weeks. "Luckily, Rena Netjes has left the country in time, but many Egyptian journalists do not have that option and are at the mercy of the military regime. If it really believes that it has broad support amongst the people, it should not be afraid to respect freedom of expression”, Schaake says. Naming specific cases Each of the four regimes of the past years has shackled freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Schaake: "Some human rights activists and members of the opposition have been imprisoned under every regime. For example, Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mohamed Abdel, Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Douma have been arrested every time." Schaake asks for their and other political prisoners' release. She wants Ashton to address cases like these, both in public and behind the scenes. "We have clearly seen that it helps when specific names are mentioned."