Egypt dismisses lawsuit against five NGOs to close 2011 foreign funding case

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Zeinab El-Gundy , Wednesday 20 Mar 2024

The Cairo Appeal Court dismissed on Wednesday the criminal lawsuit against five Egyptian human rights NGOs due to insufficient evidence of illegally receiving foreign funding.

Cairo Appeal Court
File Photo: Cairo Appeal Court. Al-Ahram.

 

Judge Ahmed Abdel-Aziz Qattalan dismissed the case against The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), the Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO), Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), and El-Nadeem Against Violence and Torture Organization.

Qattalan also removed the names of the five NGO officials, including human rights activists Hossam Bahgat and Gamal Eid, from the travel ban and watch lists and unfroze their assets. 

He stated that the court's decision on Wednesday brings the number of organizations and entities against which criminal lawsuits have been dismissed to 85, thus bringing down the curtain on a case that dates back to 2011.  

Following the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011, a criminal lawsuit (No.173  2011) known locally as the "foreign funding case" was brought against an undisclosed number of NGOs whose assets were frozen and whose personnel were prohibited from travelling abroad.

Over the past two years, investigating judges have consistently issued rulings dismissing charges against NGOs involved in the case, with the most recent instances occurring as recently as early March.

In 2020, Egypt formally adopted the bylaws of a new NGO law to regulate the activities of the numerous NGOs operating within the country.

The previous version of this law faced significant criticism for imposing stringent limitations on the operations of these organizations.

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