Take Action Now! Cut Off Aid to Egypt Until Democracy is Restored

 

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Read WILPF International's Position on the Violence in Egypt

Photo: Egyptian women angered by the recent violence used against them in clashes between army soldiers and protesters chant anti-military slogans in Tahrir Square. The sign reads: "The military are liars, down with military rule!"

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has been working for almost a hundred years for the prevention of wars and the advancement of negotiated resolution of conflicts. In the last month, we have seen a military coup d'etat take place in Egypt, overthrowing a democratically elected president and, in the last week, there have been over a hundred civilians killed by the army, a thousand wounded, and horrendous human rights abuses.

In the light of these human right abuses, the killings, and the lack of implementation of democratic measures by the new government to re-establish some justice for the people of Egypt, we, the United States Section of WILPF, are demanding an end to US military aid to Egypt to put pressure on the military regime. 

While Egyptians are struggling for their democratic rights, we activists in the US want to extend solidarity to these Egyptians.

The US military aid to Egypt consists mostly of money taken from US tax payers and given to weapons makers that then disburse it to the Egyptian government and military in the form of F‑16 jets, Apache helicopters and many tanks.  US military aid accounts for a third overall of Egypt’s defense budget and pays for 80% of its weapons systems, and there is no question about US supplied weapons being used against civilians since news reports show Apache helicopters being used to shoot into crowds of protesters. These attacks are illegal under US law.

Two US laws place conditions and restrictions on how foreign governments can use US foreign assistance: the Foreign Assistance Act (PL 87-195) and the Arms Export Control Act (PL 90-629). Otherwise the US is implicated and blamed for the violations of human rights perpetrated with our military assistance. 

To promote human rights as a cornerstone of US foreign policy, the Foreign Assistance Act directs the President "to formulate and conduct international security assistance programs of the United States in a manner which will promote and advance human rights and avoid identification of the United States, through such programs, with governments which deny to their people internationally recognized human rights and fundamental freedoms, in violation of international law or in contravention of the policy of the United States.” [22 U.S.C. Section 2304, available at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title22/html/USCODE-2010-title22-chap32.htm. As cited in U.S. Military Aid to Israel: Policy Implications and Options by Josh Ruebner, available at: http://aidtoisrael.org/article.php?id=3180.