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UK foreign office minister encourages Egypt to work 'freely' with civil organisations

Tobias Ellwood's comments come following reports of a decision by a committee to freeze the assets of four individuals accused of receiving foreign funding for NGOs

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Mar 2016
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The United Kingdom's Foreign Office Minister for North Africa Tobias Ellwood encouraged Egypt's government on Wednesday to work with civil society to implement the rights guaranteed by the country's constitution and to allow non-governmental organisations to operate freely.

Ellwood expressed his "deep concerns" over what he described as the growing restriction on civil society in Egypt, a statement by the British embassy in Cairo quoted him as saying.

The official's comments come following a judicial committee overseeing a five-year-old investigation into several rights activists accused of receiving illegal funding from foreign sources.

The committee ordered last week the freezing of the assets of four Egyptian human rights activists and their families.

"I am deeply concerned by growing restrictions on civil society in Egypt, including reports that the Egyptian authorities have reopened a case against a number of Egyptian human rights organisations," Ellwood said.

Two of the four accused individuals include rights activist Gamal Eid and investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat.

"A strong, successful Egypt built on the rule of law and with open political processes is important to us all," Ellwood said.

The foreign office minister also highlighted in his statement that according to Egypt's 2014, the country has committed to allowing civil society organisations to operate freely.

"Restrictions and sanctions run counter to this and undermine international confidence in Egypt’s political transition," Elwood said.  

 

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