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Helen Hunt targetted in open letter over Egyptian youth conference involvement

Actress Helen Hunt has been called out by Egyptian human rights activists for taking part in a controversial government-organised youth conference.
The As Good As It Gets star served as a keynote speaker at Sunday’s (05Nov17) opening ceremony of the World Youth Forum, sponsored by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, but critics have attacked the American for supporting the event, amid allegations authorities are using the conference to cover up its poor track record on human rights and free speech.
The week-long World Youth Forum, held at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort, has been promoted as “a platform that sends a message of peace, prosperity, harmony and progress to the entire world built by promising youth”, but protestors insist the whole event is a joke.
Nearly 300 human rights advocates, led by Mona Seif, have added their signatures to an open letter condemning Hunt’s involvement, reports The Associated Press.
The letter reads: “This isn’t just any forum that you chose to endorse. This is a youth forum with the slogan ‘We Need To Talk’ called for by a dictator who cannot stand any form of opposition or real criticism. He jails journalists for doing their jobs, youth for expressing their opinions, writers for writing fiction that violates ‘public morality,’ gays for coming out, supporters of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) for daring to support diversity, and he has blocked more than 400 different websites and media platforms.”
Hunt has yet to respond to the backlash.

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