Despite a wave of harsh criticism from, among other, Amnesty International, Swedwatch and Institute Against Bribes for indirectly supporting the Egyptian regime, IKEA still maintains the provider was good and stresses that the company does not chart the political affiliation of its business partners.
First IKEA responded with a general written comment, vehemently denying the allegations. Later, logistics and purchasing manager Henrik Elm addressed the allegations.
"The question of links between businessmen and political parties in the country is rather complicated. We are still short on facts on the direct link. Normally, we choose not to comment on or evaluate various individuals' political leaning," Elm told Svenska Dagbladet.
Oriental Weavers was started in 1979 by the Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Farid Khamis, known for his ties to the Mubarak regime. Nearly four decades later, Khamis was dubbed "Carpet Pharaoh" and "Textile King" by the press in the region. Arabian Business magazine listed him as one of the Middle East's most influential businessmen. Ikea signed an agreement with Oriental Weavers in 2002 and has since been an important customer for the carpet manufacturer.
Mubarak's dictatorship lasted from 1981 until the revolution of 2011 when he was deposed by popular protests.