Egypt's NGO draft law needs to be reviewed by new parliament, says NCHR head

Ahram Online , Wednesday 16 Jul 2014

Head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) urges for a law governing NGOs not to be passed until after parliamentary polls

Mohamed Fayek, the head of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), has called for delaying the passing of a contentious law regulating NGOs in Egypt until after a new parliament is elected.

In a meeting with a delegation of NGOs in Egypt on Wednesday, Fayek said that it was important for the next parliament to have time to discuss the law due to the vital role it will play in governing volunteer and NGO work as well as international contributions to social development in Egypt.

Several Egyptian NGOs have objected to the draft law as an affront to civic groups, arguing that it will restrict and even criminalise their activities.

A joint statement issued last week by 29 renowned local rights organisations said the bill in its latest form will subordinate NGOs to the security establishment and the government's administrative bodies, "shutting down the public sphere in Egypt to all but regime supporters."

They said also in their statement that the passing of the law might lead to the conviction and jailing of independent human rights defenders in the country. 

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