New NGO law will be passed by Egypt's next parliament: FM official

Ahram Online, Wednesday 5 Nov 2014

FM official says NGOs only need to register according to the current law, which rights groups deem oppressive

Hisham Badr
Deputy foreign minister for human rights Hisham Badr (Photo: AP)

Egypt's Deputy Foreign Minister for Human Rights Hisham Badr assured that there is no final draft for a new NGOs law and that it will be postponed until a new parliament is elected.

The statement made at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva comes amid condemnations from rights groups against a new NGO draft law and an amendment made to the penal code which they say will restrict their work in the country.

Seven Egyptian rights groups announced on Tuesday that they won't be part of any delegation participating in the UNHCR in Geneva this week, protesting what they say is "an environment hostile to the work of NGOs" in Egypt.

The rights groups highlighted that the UN event comes days ahead of a 10 November ultimatum given by the Egyptian government to non-governmental organisations to abide by the 2002 NGO law which they've condemned as restrictive and oppressive.

However, Badr said at the UNHRC that the government has been in talks with hundreds of NGOs and is waiting for a new parliament to draft a new law. He added that the government only gave NGOs a deadline to register according to the current law in an attempt to start dialogue over adjusting their legal status.

Badr is part of a national delegation representing Egypt at the UNHRC. The committee also includes Ibrahim El-Heneidy, minister of transitional justice, Abu Bakr El-Gendy, ‎deputy interior minister for human rights, Mervat ‎Talawy, secretary-general of the National Council for Women, Maha Abdel-Latif, deputy foreign minister for ‎foreign NGOs, and Medhat Bassiouny, deputy justice ‎minister for human rights.

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