Testimony by David J. Kramer, Freedom House President, before the House Committee on Foreign Afrs Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia on the state of democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe, July 26, 2011.
The thousands that filled Cairo’s Tahrir Square, once again, on July 8 were not demanding the downfall of a regime. They were, instead, standing up for the promise of a revolution that they fear has gone badly wrong. They were there to demand that the country’s military rulers honor their vows to effect a transition to genuine democracy, with all that entails—not just free and fair elections, although those remain in doubt—but justice for those victimized and killed by the security forces during the revolution, legal accountability for figures of the Mubarak regime accused of serious crimes, and transparent governance by the military on the road to democracy. There is a sense in Egypt that the gains of the revolution may be slipping away, and the political process is in danger of failing.These concerns are far from unwarranted.
Freedom House is writing to express our outrage at the targeting of activists, doctors and journalists and their families. We are deeply concerned by the reports of torture, imprisonment and coercion they have faced over the past few months and urge your government to immediately halt attacks on individuals and investigate quickly allegations of torture.