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Egypt court postpones ruling on asset freeze in NGO case

The court postponed issuing a ruling to 23 May on the freezing of assets of renowned human rights activists Gamal Eid and Hossam Bahgat, who are accused of receiving illegal funding for their NGOs

Ahram Online , Wednesday 20 Apr 2016
Hossam Bahgat (L) and Gamal Eid
Hossam Bahgat (L) and Gamal Eid
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A Cairo criminal court postponed on Wednesday to 23 May a decision on whether to approve the freezing of assets of Egyptian human rights activists Gamal Eid and Hossam Bahgat, who are facing charges of receiving illegal foreign funding for their NGOs.

The case was opened in 2011 when the Ministry of Justice accused several NGOs of illegally receiving funds from foreign governments and institutions, though no defendants were referred to court at the time.

However, the case has resurfaced in the past few weeks.

In March, a judicial committee overseeing an investigation into the alleged illegal funding of NGOs issued a decision to freeze the assets of four Egyptian human rights activists and their families, including renowned activists Bahgat and Eid, who have been banned from travelling.

Bahgat's lawyer Taher Abul-Nasr previously told Ahram Online that the decision to freeze the assets had not been implemented as the court had not yet approved the committee's decision.

Also being investigated in the case are the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and its manager Mostafa El-Hassan, the Cairo Centre for Human Rights and its founder Bahy El-Din Hassan, the Right to Education Centre, and Nazra for Feminist Studies.

An administrative court ruled on Tuesday that non-governmental organisations have the right to receive foreign funding. The verdict can be cited in ongoing cases as a legal precedent.

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