Help Coptic Solidarity Return to Geneva to Advocate for Coptic Equality!
Coptic Solidarity (CS) had an incredible opportunity to send a staff member to Geneva Switzerland in March, 2020, to give an oral presentation to the UN Human Rights Council. The speech was to focus on imprisoned Coptic activist Ramy Kamel, and several other secular and Muslim activists who have been imprisoned. Kamel has asthma and is suffering severe respiratory distress. This was an important opportunity to apply pressure to the Egyptian government to ensure his protection and release during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Within a few hours of our staff member’s arrival in Geneva, President Trump announced a travel ban preventing travel from Europe to the US. This prompted a series of actions by other countries and entities in response to COVID-19. The UN Human Rights Council ended their session early, just hours before CS was scheduled to speak.
CS was not able to conduct the important advocacy planned for this trip. As international travel is expensive, and CS had raised funds specifically to cover these expenses, it was a severe disappointment.
Other advocacy plans which were cancelled included:
· Meetings with individual Country Missions
· Meeting with FIFA in Zurich to forward our advocacy to end discrimination against Coptic footballers
· Cancellation of a conference at which CS was to present on Apostasy and Blasphemy laws in Egypt and how they impact individuals’ right to freedom of conscience and belief.
The UN Human Rights Council will reschedule the remainder of the suspended session, but this will require a return trip to Geneva and CS does not have the resources to return this year without your support. We ask that individuals support a return advocacy trip to Geneva when CS can reschedule our advocacy activities.
To learn more about the Geneva advocacy trip and what transpired, please see this update sent to supporters on March 16, 2020.
Go Fund Me has offered a $1,000 matching grant to organizations that raise $1,000 or more. Would you consider making a donation, in any amount, to help Coptic Solidarity benefit from this generous offer?
Advocating with you,
~All of us at Coptic Solidarity