Nadeam ElshamiFormer Chief of Staff for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), he is a corporate lobbyist. Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck (BHFS), where he works as a foreign agent they represent the interests of the Egyptian government. The Egyptian government is led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisiwho came to power through a military coup in 2013. The government and its lobbyists continue to press the United States for billions of dollars in military and economic assistance, despite the country’s widespread and systematic human rights abuses , such as documented by the State Department in its annual country report on human rights The Egyptian government first hired BHFS to represent it in November 2020, and paid the stop a monthly fee of $65,000.
Gross and Systematic Violations of Human Rights by the Egyptian Government
Since the overthrow of Egypt’s democratically elected government in 2013, the country has been embroiled in a human rights crisis without parallel in modern Egyptian history. The government is responsible for the second mass killing of protesters in the world. massacre about 1,150 Egyptians in Rabaa Square and Al-Nahdha in August 2013. The Egyptian-controlled government has arrested tens of thousands of Egyptians deemed too critical of the government because of their political affiliation or for simply being engaged in independent writing and speech. He has performed numerous extrajudicial executions and the torture of detainees, particularly in the Sinai, where he engaged armed conflict against armed groups there for almost ten years, demolishing thousands of houses and hectares of agricultural land. Without any semblance of due process, the government employed forced disappearances and endlessly renewed “preventive detentions”, which in many cases last more than five years, of thousands of detainees. The judiciary is missing independencelong issue prison sentence and even mass death sentences with little review in highly political trials. Inhuman prison conditions they led to dozens of detained dead. The government has closed hundreds of civil society groups and news publications; imprisoned journalists, human rights investigators, writers, artists and actors; and past draconian”cybercrime” and “against terrorism“laws with stiff sentences for protest, assembly and speech. The army moved to exercise control over almost all civil government and many economic functions.
However, the Egyptian government is one of the largest recipients of foreign military assistance from the United States, receive an average of $1.3 billion annually since 1987, mainly in the form of American weapons. Over the past two decades, members of the United States Congress have sought limit o condition that help, especially in recent years, given the unprecedented repression of the Egyptian government to freedom of expression and civil and political rights. Rather than ending or at least mitigating these abuses, the Egyptian government is putting money into a lobbying effort to ensure that it continues to receive US aid, despite failing to meet minimum human rights standards. arranged by the Congress and the law of the United States to receive this assistance.
The lobbying firm DC BHFS promotes the abusive interests of the Egyptian government
A few days after Joe Biden was projected to win the 2020 US election, BHFS finalized an agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt that earned the company $65,000 to the month In the contract, BHFS agreed to “provide government relations services and strategic advice [for Egypt]” on matters before the United States government, as documented in the United States Department of Justice archives.
Such statements contradict the United States State Department reports on Egypt’s shameful human rights record, including ongoing crimes such as arbitrary deprivation of life and other illegal or politically motivated killings. Echoing international human rights organizations, the reports also document Egypt’s torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and confirm that political detainees lack due process.
A fundamental objective of the Egyptian government is to maintain its offer of military assistance to the United States, especially weapons and weapons systems, and the political protection and support of the American government. Since 2012, Congress has conditioned a small portion of military funding to Egypt upon a certification by the US Secretary of State that the Egyptian government is taking steps to strengthen democracy and improve human rights. In any case, the Department of State routine bypass these restrictions as Egypt fails to meet the minimum requirements to improve human rights. With the exception of fiscal year 2014, which followed the Rabaa and Al-Nahdha massacres, Congress has included a national security waiver in appropriate legislation every year since 2012. This waiver allows the executive to release funds if the Secretary of State deems it in the interest of the national security of the United States, that happened in any case outside of 2021. Even then the State Department restrained only $130 million of the $300 million was conditional on improved human rights, while the remaining $1 billion was approved without restrictions.
BHFS Lobbyist Elshami Uses Political Connections to Help the Egyptian Government
According to a Additional statement WILL presented on March 30, 2021, Elshami met several times with members of Congress and congressional staff to discuss the legislation that appropriates and authorizes military aid for Egypt. On November 20, 2020, Elshami contacted a staff member of the House Armed Services Committee to discuss the National Defense Authorization Act, legislation that authorizes, among other things, the military aid to the Egyptian government and includes human rights conditions for its disbursement. On December 18, 2020, Elshami contacted an appropriations clerk to discuss a parallel piece of legislation, the Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill, which is responsible for another step in the funding process of appropriating money from American taxpayers for military aid to the Egyptian government. There is no evidence to suggest that Elshami or BHFS included accurate and complete information about Egypt’s general and systematic human rights abuses in these meetings or any other communications about Egypt’s receipt of military funding. from the United States, including portions conditioned to the country’s human rights problem. . The omission of such information could be misleading and prejudicial to elected officials involved in policy decisions regarding military assistance to Egypt.
Elshami is building on decades of access to the highest levels of Congress to now pursue the interests of one of the world’s most abusive governments. Prior to joining BHFS as Policy Director in 2018, Elshami served as Chief of Staff to House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). Praised by parties on both sides of the aisle for his political prowess, Elshami has had good working relationships with Democrats and Republicans, as demonstrated in back-to-backs. speeches on the ground by Pelosi and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after Elshami’s retirement from Congress. Elshami’s career as a congressional staffer spanned 25 years. Before serving as Pelosi’s Chief of Staff, he worked as her Communications Director and Senior Advisor. Elshami also served as Senior Communications Advisor to Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Deputy Chief of Staff and Communications Director to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Deputy Press Secretary to Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
In the private sector, Elshami was previously executive vice president of Signal Group, a public affairs firm based in Washington, DC. It is currency teaches a legislative training course through the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service to the McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University. Elshami is a member of the board of the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition (CAIR Coalition), a non-profit group that provides legal representation to children and adults in US immigration proceedings.
DAWN calls on Elshami and BHFS to drop their contract with the Egyptian government, conduct a thorough review of all their clients, and stop representing abusive clients like Egypt. Under UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies like BHFS have a responsibility “to avoid causing or contributing to negative human rights impacts through their activities” and also “to prevent or mitigate negative human rights impacts that are directly related to their operations, products or services from their activity. relations, even if they did not contribute to those impacts”. Lobbying on behalf of governments, agencies, officials, or companies responsible for serious human rights abuses, while falsifying or omitting information about their abuses of international human rights law or violations of international humanitarian law, or obtaining, support or expand military, political, or economic support for them, effectively contribute to, and benefit from such abuses. Elshami and BHFS contribute to and benefit from the abuses of the Egyptian government, supporting arms transfers and continued political support for its dictatorial leadership.
For additional information, see DAWN’s detailed advice to Congress, lobbyists and the US State Bar Association on our Lobbyist Hall of Shame.