But following an assessment by the State department that was rejected by Leahy, the Biden administration was obliged to cut down its annual military aid to Cairo. “We should take this law very seriously, because the situation facing political prisoners in Egypt is deplorable. We can’t give short shrift to the law because of other policy considerations. We all have a responsibility to uphold the law and to defend the due process rights of the accused, whether here or in Egypt,” the Senator said in a statement.
This is the second year in a row that the US administration has reprogrammed military aid for Egypt. “This is an important step by the administration, reaffirming to the Egyptian government that its human rights record will affect the relationship and we have seen [President] Sisi’s government take some positive steps in response,” Seth Binder, director of advocacy at the Project on Middle-East Democracy (POMED), tells The Africa Report.