Blood on Tony Blair's hands yet again as Egyptian dictator accused of mass murder
Tony Blair has an insatiable appetite for cuddling up to despots and tyrants, this time it's Egypt's dictator Sisi, responsible for the mass murder of 1000 peaceful demonstrators.
The Independent reports that Tony Blair's close ties to the Egyptian government have been called into question after some of the country's key officials were accused of collaborating in the “widespread and systematic” killings of more than 1,000 protesters.
A year-long investigation by Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims that Egyptian security forces “systematically and deliberately” killed large numbers of mainly unarmed demonstrators who had gathered in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo last August to protest about the ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi.
The group said the massacre was as bad as Tiananmen Square and that it “likely amounted to crimes against humanity”. It called for several senior Egyptian officials to be investigated for their role in the incident - including the country's current President, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was defence minister at the time.
Tony Blair, who is a Middle East peace envoy, supported the coup against president Morsi and has voiced his support for the new Egyptian government. He is also acting as an informal adviser to Mr al-Sisi on economic reform.
Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, said: “It's not the first time, and I suppose it may not be the last time, that Tony Blair has been associated with regimes that have a very poor human rights record. As a private citizen he's entitled to do business with whatever regime he so likes, but as somebody who's supposed to be a diplomatic envoy… what sort of message does this send out?”
HRW spoke to 122 survivors and witnesses of the Rabaa massacre to compile the report, which concluded that the Egyptian government had ordered the killings. The current administration rejected the findings, accusing the authors of being “biased and unprofessional”.
HRW's executive director Kenneth Roth said: “It is very short-sighted on the part of the major Western governments to believe if they just make nice with al-Sissi's government that somehow this imagined transition to democracy which is repeatedly trumped will somehow come to pass. The message sent so far is that Egypt can get away with mass murder.”
A spokeswoman for Mr Blair did not respond to a request for comment.
Blood also on hands of Blair's partner in war crimes Alistair Campbell
As reported by the Daily Mail, "Victims of last year's military coup in Egypt have accused Tony Blair and his former spin doctor Alastair Campbell of assisting a brutal regime responsible for mass killings, torture and the jailing of thousands of innocent people..."
They condemned the pair for helping a military strongman trying to win international approval after overthrowing an elected government.
'I still have a bullet in my chest,' said Mohamed Tareq, a biology lecturer shot three times while helping victims of a massacre that killed hundreds of protesters. 'Is this the democracy these people are promoting to the West?'
Campbell, forced to resign from Downing Street in 2003 after his role in the Iraq War 'dodgy dossier' scandal, has visited the country for talks with Sisi's team. Campbell refused to say if he was being paid.
Diplomatic sources in Cairo say Campbell had lengthy talks with senior aides and politicians on how to defend the coup and its bloody aftermath in the international media. 'They have been very bad at getting their message across,' said one source.
In recent weeks, Sisi advisers have visited the US and Brussels to push the line that a shattered Egypt needs stability to survive and seek foreign investment. Insiders say the aim is to play down 'regrettable' outrages of the post-coup regime...
Former journalist Campbell has admitted discussing 'perceptions in the international media' about Egypt...
One of the victims of Sisi's brutal crackdown of dissent had this to say of Blair and Campbell: 'Those who are promoting a regime that is killing, torturing and locking up so many Egyptians have blood on their hands also.'