Two leaders of Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit group that monitors civil liberties, were scheduled to address diplomats and journalists in Cairo last week. But authorities barred them from Egypt.
The organization was set to discuss its report on the systematic killing of more than 1,000 Egyptians who protested the overthrow of former president Mohammed Morsi in August 2013. The report links the deaths largely to police and the Egyptian military, including former general and current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, who was elected in March.
The Cairo government’s attempt to shirk responsibility for its crimes is hypocritical. For nearly a month, Mr. el-Sisi has tried to mediate negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian forces, condemning the conflict in Gaza that has claimed nearly 2,000 lives.
But Egypt cannot broker a humanitarian cease-fire with any authority while it refuses to answer for its own abuses. As Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Ukraine are ravaged by warfare, leaders of free societies must exemplify principles of political accountability, freedom from censorship, and human rights — and pressure nations such as Egypt to follow them.