Multiple sources indicate that on the 10th anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution, a group of Democrat lawmakers has initiated the “Egypt Human Rights Caucus” with the assistance of the son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader. According to the statement of co-sponsor Rep. Don Beyer (D‑VA), the caucus is aimed at addressing human rights issues in Egypt:
January 25, 2021 “The Egyptian people’s hopes for self-determination, freedom, and social justice inspired the world in 2011. Unprecedented repression and grave human rights violations have not extinguished those hopes,” Rep. Beyer said. (…) “American interests have not been served by a policy of unconditional support for the Egyptian military, while downplaying the military-led government’s human rights abuses, corruption, and mistreatment of American citizens,” said Rep. Malinowski. “The Egypt Human Rights Caucus will reflect and help shape the growing consensus in Congress that we need to rebalance our relationship with this important country.”
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Rep. Beyer subsequently published a tweet thanking Mohamed Soltan, along with several human rights organizations, for their support and assistance in building membership for the caucus. From 2017–2020 Mohamed Soltan and his sister Hanaa made contributions totaling USD 16,550 to the election campaign of caucus co-sponsor Rep. Tom Malinowski (D‑NJ), who has published tweets referring to Soltan as his “ friend” and during his tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Labor, and Human Rights at the US State Department called Mohamed Soltan a “particularly decent and courageous American.”
Mohamed Soltan, who is an Egyptian-American dual citizen, drew global media attention in August 2013 when he was shot in the arm and then arrested while speaking with a news producer in Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, where protesters were calling for the reinstatement of the deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a leading figure in the Egyptian Brotherhood. According to US media, Soltan was serving as the de-facto social media manager for the camp, where he acted as an intermediary between Muslim Brotherhood officials and the foreign press. He was subsequently imprisoned for 643 days, where he said he was abused and tortured by prison authorities and then released in 2015. His website describes Soltan as a “Human Rights Defender, Public Speaker, and Organizer” and says he has briefed numerous public officials in the US, EU, and the UK, including then US Secretary of State John Kerry, US Congressman Tom Lantos, and members of the UK Foreign Office and Parliament.
Mohamed Soltan has multiple ties to the Egyptian and Global Muslim Brotherhood. To begin with, he is the son of Salah Soltan, a former deputy minister in the cabinet of Mohamed Morsi. Salah Soltan’s online CV, since removed from the Internet, indicates that he is or was a member of several important US and European Muslim Brotherhood groups and also expressed his vision “To live happily. To die as a martyr.“ When Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi visited Gaza in May 2013, Solah Soltan was at his side when the Hamas prime minister greeted Qaradawi and when Qaradawi called immediately for “Jihad to death” against Israel. Salah Soltan has a long history of extremist and anti-Semitic statements, including accusing Jews of using Christian blood in religious rituals.
Mohamed Soltan’s own ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas support extend beyond his father. He is a former president of the Ohio State University’s Muslim Student Association, many of whose chapters are known to be close to the US Muslim Brotherhood. In 2009, he participated in a Viva Palestina convoy ostensibly aimed at delivering humanitarian aid to Gaza. Our predecessor publication reported in 2010 that Viva Palestina was a UK registered charity that was under investigation by UK authorities. It had organized several convoys of humanitarian aid to Gaza, including the first convoy where Viva Palestina head George Galloway was reported to have handed cash and three cars to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyah and the second convoy where Galloway met again with the Hamas leader. Viva Palestina had numerous other ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas, not the least of which was its participation in the June 2010 “Gaza Flotilla” that was involved in a violent altercation with Israel naval forces. During an interview about the 2009 convoy, Soltan accused the Israeli government of carrying out a “second holocaust” against the Palestinians. In 2012, Soltan tweeted praise for Hamas leader Khalid Meshaal, calling him an “amazing freedom fighter” and a “lion” and attributed these qualities to the “Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood).” Soltan has also been pictured together with his father and Global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi, generally regarded as the spiritual leader of Hamas. In 2015, Soltan was a speaker at an American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) conference. The AMP is a Palestinian advocacy group with strong ties to both the US Muslim Brotherhood and to the Hamas support infrastructure in the US.
NOTE: The Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) presents the above information for purposes of context and not to endorse or approve of any ill-treatment Mohamed Soltan has received at the hands of the Egyptian authorities.