Egypt court sets 17 Sept to announce verdict on rights activists' asset freeze in NGOs case

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Aug 2016

Hossam Bahgat and Gamal Eid
Hossam Bahgat (L) and Gamal Eid (Photo: Reuters/Hossam Bahgat Twitter account)

The court verdict on whether to uphold a judicial decision of freezing of the assets of three prominent human rights activists has been set for 17 September, their lawyer Mohamed Abdel-Aziz told Ahram Online.

The three activists - Hossam Bahgat, the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for personal Rights, Gamal Eid, the founder and director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and Bahy El-Din Hassan, the founder of Cairo Institute - have been facing charges of receiving illegal foreign funding for their NGOs. 

The case against the trio started 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.

In March of this year, a judicial committee overseeing an investigation into the alleged illegal funding of NGOs issued a decision to freeze the assets of several Egyptian human rights activists.

Bahgat's lawyer, Taher Abul-Nasr, previously told Ahram Online that the decision to freeze the three rights activists' assets had not been implemented, since a court must first uphold the committee's decision.

The Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and its manager Mostafa El-Hassan in addition to the Right to Education Centre are also being investigated in the case.

In April, an Egyptian court ruled that NGOs have the right to foreign funding. 

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