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Public Statements

Human Rights Abuses In Egypt

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

(Mr. SIRES asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. SIRES. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to share my concerns and outrage over human rights abuses in Egypt.

The Egyptian Government must uphold the rights of all religious communities by ending discrimination and harassment of these groups and prosecuting those that do harm to these groups.

An attack that happened 2 weeks ago starkly illustrates the need for change in Egypt. On January 6, the night before Coptic Christmas, a drive-by shooting killed six Coptic Christians. While the United States and the human rights community have been vocal in condemning this attack and other human rights abuses, the Egyptian Government has yet to recognize the full significance of the violent act or the overreaching issue of intolerance in the country.

Violence in the name of religion is unacceptable, but when governments do not sufficiently address such behavior, the violence is far more troubling. Religion is a fundamental freedom that must be upheld and respected in every nation and in every community. I urge my colleagues and the House to join me in calling for religious freedom and basic rights for all people.

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