Egyptian rights activist Azza Soliman released on bail in NGO case

Ahram Online , Wednesday 7 Dec 2016

Azza Soliman
File photo of Egyptian rights activist Azza Soliman. (Photo Courtesy of social media)

A Cairo court ordered on Wednesday evening the release of Egyptian human rights activist Azza Soliman on EGP 20,000 bail pending investigations into her alleged involvement in the illegal foreign funding of NGOs.

Soliman was arrested earlier in the day at her home in Cairo.

In mid-November, the renowned rights advocate and lawyer, who is co-founder and head of Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance (CEWLA), was barred from travelling as she was leaving Egypt for a human rights event in Morocco.

Soliman was told by authorities that the travel ban was the result of a judicial order related to investigations into a number of NGOs for allegedly receiving illegal foreign funding.

Soliman is accused of receiving funding with the aim of harming national security, founding an illegal entity engaging in NGO activities, and tax evasion.

“Police came to our house with an arrest warrant for my mother,” said Soliman’s son Nadeem Abdel-Gawad, adding that his mother was taken to New Cairo court for investigations.

In March, the justice ministry re-opened the five-year-old case.

A number of prominent activists being investigated in the case have also been banned from travel, including Hossam Bahgat, a journalist and founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), Gamal Eid, a lawyer and founder of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Bahy El-Din Hassan, the founder of Cairo Institute for Human Rights, and Mozn Hassan, director and founder of Nazra for Feminist Studies.

The assets of those named in the case have been frozen.

Short link: