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Mar-11-2014 01:38printcomments

Egypt's Shameful Rejection of Mairead Maguire and Other Peace Advocates

The Syria Solidarity Movement declares its support for Mairead Maguire and other exponents of compassion, free speech, human rights and respect for diversity.

Mairead Maguire
Mairead Maguire photo courtesy:

(DAMASCUS) - The Syria Solidarity Movement views with sadness and dismay the Egyptian government's denial of entry to Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire for the purpose of transiting to Gaza to attend the International Women's Day commemorations. Ms. Maguire is a good friend of the Syria Solidarity Movement and has played a central role in the promotion of peace, justice and human rights in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and many other places throughout the world.

The Egyptian government knows that Ms. Maguire is an advocate and practitioner of nonviolence and that she is completely harmless to all human life. Furthermore, the regime knows that the Egyptian people are among the most steadfast supporters of justice for Palestine. The only possible explanation for the refusal to admit Ms. Maguire, therefore, is to prevent the expression of her message of hope and solidarity to Palestinians in Gaza and to demonstrate that the Egyptian authorities will repress such thought and speech regardless of its source. Such repression serves only the cause of the Israeli oppressor.

Egypt's treatment of Ms. Maguire is hardly unique. Egyptian officers used brutal force on her colleague, Medea Benjamin, who helped organize the delegation, causing her grievous bodily harm and even refusing access to medical attention. Such violence against a peaceful visitor is unfortunately indicative of a brutal regime which has killed thousands of its own citizens expressing their opposition to the overthrow of the elected government.

Egypt is of course hardly the only perpetrator of tyranny. One of the main sponsors of the current Egyptian government is the U.S., which provides billions of dollars in aid, even in defiance of its own laws against support for regimes that seize power in a coup d'├ętat. Additionally, despite the ostensible protection of free speech in the U.S., the Obama regime has prohibited Syria's Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari from traveling more than 25 miles from UN headquarters in New York in response to requests for him to speak or for any other reason. Apparently, the expression of an alternative point of view is too much for the U.S. to bear, whether at home, in Egypt, or anywhere else it wishes to project its power.

The Syria Solidarity Movement declares its support for Mairead Maguire and other exponents of compassion, free speech, human rights and respect for diversity. We therefore ask all people and institutions of conscience to advocate on behalf of Ms. Maguire and other spokespersons for values and principles that raise human dignity for us all.



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