Anti-torture NGO El-Nadeem rejects health ministry's reasons for shutdown

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Feb 2016

'We will head to the clinic on Saturday, and both the clinic and the centre will be open and we will continue to issue our reports'

El-Nadeem Team
Founders of El-Nadeem Center (Photo: Facebook)

El-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence issued a statement on Thursday responding to the reasons cited by the health ministry to shut down the non-governmental organisation last week.

On Wednesday, the health ministry issued a statement saying that the NGO had committed the two following violations: changing its name from a 'clinic' to a 'centre,' since the licenses are different for each, and changing the centre's activities from 'medical' to 'human rights-related.'

On 17 February, Egyptian authorities attempted to shut down the El-Nadeem Centre in accordance with an order issued by a body affiliated with the health ministry.

The NGO's lawyer managed to postpone the implementation of the order.

El-Nadeem, which was founded in 1993 and provides support for victims of violence and torture, rejected the health ministry's justifications, stating that "the centre is an NGO which has nothing to do with the ministry.

"Changing the identity of the NGO from a clinic to a centre did not happen. Both were working independently from one another.

"The NGO has different activities, including opening a clinic. The clinic was established with a license from the doctors' syndicate before receiving another license from the health minster, which permits the establishment of a medical facility," El-Nadeem's statement read.

"Since the organisation was founded, neither the clinic nor the centre have changed their names.

"What has changed over the 23 years is the activity and address of the centre and with every change, the contract status has been amended and ratified by the court," the statement added.

"We also didn't change the orientation of the centre from medical to human rights-related as the health ministry says," the statement added.

"It was from the centre and not the clinic that we issued reports related to torture by police officers against members of terrorist groups."

"We (El-Nadeem doctors) will head to the clinic on Saturday, and both the clinic and the centre will be open and we will continue to issue our reports," it added. 

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