Egypt restricts freedom of Association of Human Rights Defenders

February 24, 2013

Amnesty-InternationaA move by Egyptian authorities to prohibit national NGOs’ contact with foreign organizations without prior permission from security bodies represents a new low for freedom of association, said Amnesty International.  In a letter to an NGO (Egyptian Organization for Human Rights) Egypt’s Ministry of Social Affairs stated that no “local entity” is permitted to engage with “international entities” in any way without the permission of the “security bodies”, referring to instructions issued by the Prime Minister.

The vague language on “international entities” is likely to include both international human rights organizations and UN bodies. “NGOs in Egypt already face staggering restrictions, but this instruction is a new low,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.  “It is a disturbing indicator of what may lie ahead for human rights groups in the government’s new law.” Since the ‘25 January Revolution’ of 2011 the Egyptian authorities have continued cracking down on human rights groups. In July 2011, the Egyptian government launched an investigation into the foreign funding of NGOs, leading to an unprecedented series of raids.   Following the raids, 43 staff members of international organizations were put on trial on charges of operating without official registration and obtaining foreign funding without the authorities’ permission.

Egypt’s government has recently faced criticism over another new draft law limiting freedom of assembly, amid reports of other restrictive laws being on their way. The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights was refused government permission last year to work on a freedom of association project.

via Egypt hits new low on NGO restrictions | Amnesty International USA.

One Response to “Egypt restricts freedom of Association of Human Rights Defenders”

  1. […] Egypt restricts freedom of Association of Human Rights Defenders ( […]

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