Failures and hacking of the phones of the participants in “COP27” in Egypt

Egypt hoped to organize the COP27 climate conference on its territory to attract investment and conduct a successful public relations campaign to improve Egypt’s image externally. However, it quickly turns into a disturbing nightmare for the Egyptian authorities, given the scale of the failures and problems surrounding the conference.

Published magazine Politics
The American newspaper reported, translated by “Arabi21”, saying that the presentation of the conference is supposed to present Egypt as an ambitious champion of renewable energy, a tourist destination and a reliable international actor, and the talks itself – which was held in a seaside resort – was supposed to drive the global response to climate change.

Instead, senior officials from Europe and elsewhere investigated reports that youth delegates were left without beds, subjected to extortion, forced to sleep in rooms without locks and woken at night by arbitrary demands for documents; And all this, even though they are part of a program sponsored by the Egyptian Ministry of Youth and Sports.

The newspaper pointed out that according to three people familiar with the situation; About 80 young delegates, who each paid about $700 for their accommodation, arrived at their hotel late Saturday to find they had no rooms or were asked to pay an extra fee of between $300 and $600 a night, and after hours of negotiations, some had to get new accommodation in the early hours of the morning.

Those who finally got into their rooms – in some cases after the extras had been agreed – found them filthy with only four beds for six or seven people, many forced to sleep in rooms without locks, woken up by men entering and taking their passports demanded.

The newspaper pointed out that the conference’s Egyptian organizers are now under severe diplomatic pressure over the situation, after the main negotiators were forced to leave the talks to ensure the safety of their young delegates, while the European Union and other delegations raised their concerns. expressed during their discussion with the Egyptian government, according to Jacob Werksmann Senior International Climate Policy Advisor of the European Union.

In another context; The paper reported that the conference sessions were criticized for their food and water supplies; Some delegates noted that the talks appeared to be a simulation of the “Hunger Games”-style deprivation with which climate change threatens millions of people. This prompted organizers – on Thursday – to halve food prices and make drinks free, meaning delegates no longer had to pay for Coca-Cola bottles; The official sponsor of the conference, which is also the biggest polluter of plastic on earth.

human rights crisis

The paper notes that there was some sympathy among the delegates for Egypt’s efforts to host the conference, despite going through a major food and economic crisis. While the richest countries are struggling under pressure to host major diplomatic events that could involve 30,000 or more delegates descending on the host city, COP27 has 46,028 participants, compared to last year’s summit hosted by the United Kingdom which was an official was described. At the United Nations, it has been described as legendary for its “sad sandwiches and long queues,” while Abul-Magd said: “I think people see that we have put in the best we can as a developing country, to have a prepare place to bring people together to achieve success.”

However, this sympathy largely disappears when it comes to the Egyptian government’s human rights record. Various rights groups have described Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – a former military general – as an authoritarian ruler who has locked up critics and clamped down on protests. Agni Uchis Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said: “We are attending the COP in the midst of the climate crisis, in the midst of a human rights crisis,” adding: “It is not just one or two illegal detentions, there are thousands of illegal arrests; it’s the biggest prison ever. This planet is for political opposition right now.”

The newspaper spoke to analysts who said the official “Cop 27” smartphone app, which the Egyptian government encouraged delegates to download, caused the spread of the virus. It is a “cyber weapon” that could allow authorities to listen to private conversations and access encrypted texts and emails, which was denied by Wael Abul-Magd, Egypt’s special representative to the COP27 president, who insisted that it was “technically impossible” due to what Google and Apple App Stores put on products.

The newspaper reported that criticism of the Egyptian government’s crackdown on political opposition focuses on the treatment of imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who escalated his months-long hunger strike to coincide with the first day of the summit; The issue was the focus of most global media coverage of COP27, particularly in the UK; of which Alaa Abdel-Fattah has a nationality in addition to Egyptian nationality; British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, along with French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Olaf Schulz, invited Alaa Abdel Fattah to attend COP 27 meetings with Sisi.

In response to a question on the matter; “We spoke directly to the UK and gave a full explanation of many of the allegations that were made,” Abul-Magd said, noting that Al-Fattah’s sister Sana Seif traveled to the summit and held public events to defending her brother; Abul-Magd considered that Sanaa Seif’s presence was “part of freedom of expression”, adding: “But at the same time, although it is an important issue, we do not want to lose focus on the climate catastrophe that is killing people everywhere. the world,” and referred to the decision. The historic take on Sunday for talks on climate disaster recovery financing as a major outcome of the conference.

Asked by Politico whether human rights issues have left the government worried about Egypt’s image in the world, Abul-Magd said: “So far, I think our record is going well.”

Human rights activists argue that climate change and justice are inextricably linked, Callamard said that even if Egyptians don’t really believe it, they should at least pretend more convincingly that they do, adding: “If they don’t mercy, They must do it out of self-interest,” she warned, warning that if Alaa Abdel Fattah were to die: “I can assure you that nobody will remember COP27 in any historical way other than Alaa’s death.”

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