US Says Former Egyptian Prime Minister Enjoyed Diplomatic Immunity From Prosecution: Report | Courts news

Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan has filed a US lawsuit against Hazem el-Beblawi, alleging his involvement in torture in Egypt.

The Biden administration has declared a lawsuit to hold former Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi accountable for alleged involvement in torture against Egyptian-American the activist should be expelled because he enjoyed diplomatic immunity, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

In a brief presented to the US District Court in Washington, DC, shared by the Post, attorneys for the US Department of Justice stated that “El Beblawi had diplomatic status at the time the lawsuit was brought” and that the court should dismiss “complaints falling within the scope of its immunity”.

El-Beblawi had been Egypt’s representative to the International Monetary Fund, but resigned and left the United States in late October, the Post reported.

The ministry said in its court file that it was not passing judgment on the merits of the case itself.

Egyptian-American rights activist Mohamed Soltan, a former political prisoner in Egypt, testified a lawsuit against el-Beblawi in U.S. District Court last year, accusing the former prime minister of ordering his arrest, torture and attempted assassination.

Soltan was arrested for brutal repression in Cairo in 2013.

In a statement shared on Twitter on Monday, Soltan said he was “deeply disappointed” with the position of the Biden administration, saying he had “erred in his interpretation of the law, policy and judgment. moral”.

“And in doing so, it further endangered my life here in the United States, as well as the life and well-being of my family in Egypt. We will allow the court to resolve the issue of immunity, as my case is still viable, active and timely. This case is not over, ”Soltan said.

Soltan, the son of a leading member of the now banned Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested in August 2013 after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led the military overthrow of President-elect Mohamed Morsi.

Soltan was released in 2015 after a 15-month hunger strike and deported to the United States after renouncing his Egyptian citizenship.

Since taking office, US President Joe Biden has faced growing calls to denounce human rights abuses in Egypt, a longtime US ally in the Middle East, and to take a different approach to the bilateral relationship than his predecessor, Donald Trump.

Trump had greeted the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, calling him “favorite dictator”.

Human rights groups have for years criticized the al-Sisi government for suppressing dissenting voices, including journalists, human rights activists and suspected political opponents. Around 60,000 people are believed to be detained in the country.

In recent months, Egyptian human rights defenders in the United States – including Soltan – have accused Egypt of targeting their relatives to push them into silence, sparking demands for Biden to speak out.

In July of last year, while on the trail of the presidential campaign, Biden tweeted: “No more blank checks for Trump’s ‘favorite dictator’.”

But his administration in February authorized the sale of weapons at 200 million dollars to Egypt, affirming that the country “continues to be an important strategic partner in the Middle East”.

Officials in the Biden administration, however, have vowed to put pressure on Cairo on human rights.

Last month, during a rare public demonstration of criticism of Egypt at the United Nations human rights agency, the The United States was among the 31 signatories Call on Sisi’s government to end its campaign against civil society groups and activists and to lift restrictions on freedoms of expression and assembly.

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