Amnesty International report criticizes Egypt’s NGO restrictions
Amnesty International deeply criticized Thursday a letter from Egyptian authorities to an NGO requiring it not to engage into contacts with foreign organizations.
Amnesty said the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights had received a letter from the Insurance and Social Affairs Ministry that stated no “local entity” is permitted to engage with “international entities” in any way without the permission of the “security bodies.” “NGOs in Egypt already face staggering restrictions, but this instruction is a new low,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa. “It is a disturbing indicator of what may lie ahead for human rights groups in the government’s new law.” In late 2011, Egyptian authorities staged a crackdown against several NGOs over allegations of illegal foreign funding, drawing criticism from human rights advocates. “The authorities must stop using independent civil society organizations as scapegoats for all the ills of Egypt,” said Sahraoui. “Banning contacts with international ‘entities’ invokes Mubarak-era practices that the current President had pledged to break with.” The ministry had finalized a draft law regulating the establishment and funding of NGOs, which is to be presented to Parliament for approval. The draft received criticism for its allegedly restrictive approach. The draft law bans NGOs from taking part in political activities, and comprises articles that may considerably restrict their scope of work, particularly foreign organizations.
About 40,000 NGOs would be required to legalize their status and address funding issues retroactively.
A leading Egyptian social democrat fears the elite that thrived under former President Hosni Mubarak will once again dominate politics in elections promised by the army after it overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. The 2011 popular revolt against Mubarak raised hopes for an end to decades of corruption and nepotism, but political turmoil since then has dimmed aspirations for
Tahrir Square has once again become the venue for fresh clashes in the heart of Cairo, on the day hundreds rallied to commemorate the deaths of around 50 killed in one of the worst bouts of violence in the 2011 revolution. Police fired tear gas and birdshot at protesters close to Qasr El-Nil Bridge late Tuesday, the latest in a string of clashes which left dozens injured according to Health
Osama El-Baz (1931 – September 14, 2013) was a prominent Egyptian politician and a Senior Advisor to former President Hosni Mubarak since 1981. A graduate from Cairo University, he studied for six years in the United States, where he obtained his master's degree as well as a PhD from Harvard Law School. El-Baz later joigned the Egyptian foreign service, and was made chef de cabinet
1991: -- Nov 1: The Madrid Peace Conference sets out a peace process framework. 1993: -- Sept 13: Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization sign a Declaration of Principles on autonomy after months of secret negotiations in Oslo. 1994: -- May 4: Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat sign autonomy accord in Cairo. 2000: -- July 11-25: US president