U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
December 23, 2013
STATEMENT BY JEN PSAKI, SPOKESPERSON
Jail Sentences Handed Down for Peaceful Demonstrators in Egypt
The United States is deeply concerned about the worsening climate for freedom of assembly and peaceful expression in Egypt. The implementation of Egypt’s restrictive demonstrations law has led to an increase in arrests, detentions, and charges against opposition figures, human rights activists and peaceful demonstrators, and sends a chilling message to civil society at large. In particular, we believe that the verdicts issued December 22 do not contribute to an open electoral environment or a transition process that protects the universal rights of all Egyptian citizens, and therefore should be reviewed. We continue to urge the government to fulfill its commitment to implement an inclusive democratic transition, including by permitting an open environment in which Egyptians are free to campaign and vote in favor or against the draft constitution on January 14-15, or abstain from the process entirely.