Rami Sidky, an Egyptian musician and former student of the University of Amsterdam, has been held in pre-trial detention in Egypt since May 5th, 2018. He is suspected of being a member of a terrorist organisation and insulting government authorities. In the interrogations, Sidky was questioned about his relation with prominent musician Ramy Essam, with whom he played in a band years ago, and who has produced the song “Balaha” in which President Sisi is criticized. Sidky left the band in 2013 however, years before the song was created. On February 9th of this year, Sidky’s pre-trial detention was again extended with 45 days.
Increasing numbers of prominent activists, bloggers, academics and politicians have been arrested in the last months for criticizing President Sisi.
1) Are the HR/VP and the EEAS aware of the case of Sidky and others prosecuted for the “Balaha” song?
2) Has the EEAS, the EU delegation in Egypt or an Embassy of a Member State raised the case of Sidky with the relevant Egyptian authorities and monitored the proceedings?
3) In what way are the continuing human rights violations affecting the relationship between the EU and Egypt, given the EU’s position that stability and security can only be achieved when human rights and fundamental freedoms are fully assured?