THERESA MAY this week congratulated a military dictator on his election ‘victory’. The end of March saw Abdel Fattah el-Sisi sealed victory in the country's controversial presidential election. The election itself is largely seen as a sham by most commentators and world powers alike, but Theresa May saw fit to congratulate el Sisi instead, a fact that hasn’t been picked up by the media.

The irony behind this is that not long after Vladimir Putin won his election, Conservative MPs such as Nick Boles spoke out against EU president, Jean-Claude Junker congratulating him. Yet they have remained very quiet over Theresa May.

The right kind of human rights abuses

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on Monday secured a second term in office after winning 97% of the vote.

Sisi's only rival for the presidency was Mousa Mostafa Mousa, after several other candidates quit the race. The opposition blames Sisi's government for squeezing potential rivals through what they see as a strategy of intimidation or coercion, but the President says he is not to blame. There was 41% turnout of almost 60 million registered voters.

This seems like a blunder but it highlights how the Conservatives only see Human Rights Abuses when it is a regime or another group that speaks out against their ideology. In the statement released by Downing Street on Wednesday said the British prime minister had "congratulated" Sisi on his "chance to take Egypt further along the path of democratic transition" and praised his "public commitment to respecting Egyptian presidential term-limits". The problem is that Sisi is a military dictator and originally came to power in a military coup in 2013 which saw 817 protesters maliciously gunned down.

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In 2017, Sisi ratified a new law that could well eliminate the little remaining space for civil society, law criminalizes the work of NGOs, providing for up to five-year prison terms for failing to adhere to its provisions such as operating or receiving funds without government approval. It also provides for day-to-day monitoring by officials, including security agencies, and prohibits activities that “harm national security, public order, public morality, or public health,” vague terms that authorities can use to outlaw legitimate work.

He is also a brutal dictator who had all viable election opponents “arrested, barred or forced to withdraw “, and who routinely tortures protestors and political opponents. Firstly, this is not the first time Mrs May and her government have been vocally on the side of brutal regimes, they support Israel (something that even Sisi condemns) and Saudi Arabia, who both continue to inflict human rights abuses in Palestine and Yemen. Yet when it comes to Russia, the public are essentially told that they are the ‘bad guys’. Irrespective of the obvious abuses committed by Putin, the British government should be condemning all these regimes equally.