Lawyer files complaint with Egypt prosecutor-general over NGO raids

Ahram Online, Monday 2 Jan 2012

Rights advocate lodges formal complaint with judicial authorities over last week's raids on 5 non-govt organisations

Egyptians call for Mubarak to step down on 30 January 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Prominent human rights lawyer Nasser Amin filed a complaint with Egypt’s prosecutor-general on Monday against the security agencies responsible for conducting raids on 17 NGO offices in Cairo last Thursday.

Amin, head of the Cairo-based Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary, lodged the complaint following a demonstration outside the prosecutor-general’s office to protest last week’s raids.

The protest, which was organised by several political forces and NGOs, also included prominent human rights activists Gamal Eid, head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and George Ishak, member of the National Human Rights Council.

Cairo University political science professor Mustafa Kamal El-Sayed pointed out that the raids took place after Egypt’s ruling military council had alleged the involvement of “an unknown third party” in last month’s clashes in downtown Cairo.

El-Sayed believes the council is now trying to make it appear as if the NGOs had been part of this alleged “third party” and had played a role in the chaos that engulfed areas of downtown Cairo in recent weeks.

He added that most post-revolutionary political forces had condemned the raids, with the exception of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tarek Zaghloul, head of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights, added that none of the NGOs that were raided had been summoned for questioning beforehand.

Zaghloul stressed that most NGOs did not object to being questioned, adding that if the military council or government possessed any documentation proving the NGOs’ culpability in recent political unrest they must come forward with it.

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