Amnesty International criticises 'unprecedented crackdown' on NGOs in Egypt

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Mar 2016

Global rights group Amnesty International criticised Egyptian authorities for reopening investigations into several NGOs for allegedly receiving funds illegally from foreign governments and institutions.

"Egypt’s civil society is being treated like an enemy of the state, rather than a partner for reform and progress,” Amnesty said in a statement.  

“The Egyptian authorities have moved beyond scaremongering and are now rapidly taking concrete steps to shut down the last critical voices in the country’s human rights community."

Last week, a judicial committee overseeing the five-year-old investigation ordered the freezing of assets of four Egyptian human rights activists and their families.

Rights activists Hossam Bahgat, who founded the Egyptian Initiative for Personnel Rights (EIPR) in 2004, and Gamal Eid, who founded the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) in 2004, were among those whose assets were frozen.

A Cairo criminal court will review on Thursday the committee's decision to freeze assets.

The investigations dates back to 2011, when the Egyptian Ministry of Justice accused several NGOs of illegally receiving funds from foreign entities based on reports issued at the time by the National Security Agency and the General Intelligence Service.

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