SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt –
The United Nations says it is investigating allegations of misconduct by Egyptian police officers securing international climate talks this year.
This followed claims that attendees of events at the German pavilion for the COP27 summit were photographed and filmed after Germany hosted an event there with the sister of an activist. jailed Egyptian pro-democracy activist, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is also a UK citizen.
In a statement provided Sunday to the AP news agency, the United Nations climate office confirmed that some of the security personnel working in the designated UN territory are from host country, Egypt.
This is due to the “scale and complexity of providing security at a large-scale event” such as the COP27 climate talks, the global body said. It added that their work took place “under the direction of the operations of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UN DSS).”
“The security officers provided by the host country for this COP are from the national police,” it said. “They are here to assist in fortifying the site and ensuring the safety and security of all participants.”
“UN DSS has been made aware of allegations of Code of Conduct violations and is investigating these reports,” the climate office told the AP.
The German Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it had been in contact with Egyptian authorities about the incidents at their booth.
“We hope all participants of the United Nations climate conference can work and negotiate under safe conditions,” it said in a statement. “This is true not only of the Germans, but also of all delegations, as well as representatives of civil society and the media.”
Egyptian officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Egypt’s hosting of the international summit has drawn attention to its human rights record.
According to a 2019 tally by Human Rights Watch, the government has waged a widespread crackdown on dissent in recent years, arresting around 60,000 people, many not adjudicated.
Under President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, the government has also threatened and banned independent media and local organizations from operating. A prominent imprisoned activist, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, began a hunger strike and water hunger strike on the first day of the conference to call attention to pressure for his own release. and other prisoners.
Abdel-Fattah rose to prominence during the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings that spread across the Middle East, and in Egypt, he amplified calls for an end to police brutality. He has served a total of 9 years in prison and is currently serving a 5-year sentence for retweeting a Facebook post about the death of another inmate.
On Sunday, Abdel-Fattah’s lawyer Khaled Ali said in a social media post that he was not allowed to visit the activist that afternoon, despite permission from the country’s prosecutor. He said he would be back on Monday morning. The family say they have received no proof that he is still alive since he stopped drinking on November 6 and have not received any contact from him since October 31, when he He declared a hunger strike and a hunger strike.