Egypt: Draconian NGO Law forces ANHRI to suspend its activities

Accountability, Justice and Space for Civil Society, Egypt, Press Release

Read in:  Arabic 

EuroMed Rights condemns the ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and independent civil society organisations in Egypt, which struggle for their very survival.

After 18 years of tireless work to defend human rights in Egypt, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) was forced to announce the suspension of its activities on 10 January 2022.

Amid growing violations against human rights in Egypt, ANHRI’s decision comes with the expiration of the registration deadline given to civil society organisations in the framework of the NGO Law, as those unable to register would face dissolution. ANHRI attempted to register under the Law, a possibility that was informally denied by the Ministry of Social Solidarity as the Law, along with other restrictive measures, does not allow to monitor human rights abuses.

“This announcement constitutes a major backlash for the protection of human rights in Egypt, in one of the darkest moments of its modern history as major human rights violations occur with perpetrators not being held to account,” declared Wadih Al-Asmar, President of EuroMed Rights.

“EuroMed Rights, along with many other human rights organisations, has repeatedly urged the international community – including the EU, a key donor for Egypt – to call on the Egyptian authorities to repeal the outrageous 2019 NGO Law. This law blatantly violates the right to freedom of association and threatens the very existence of an independent civil society in the country,” added Rasmus Alenius Boserup, Executive Director of EuroMed Rights.

The EU should honour its commitment for the respect of human rights and the rule of law by taking action to counter the eradication of Egypt’s human rights movement, and support prominent civil society organisations such as ANHRI so that they can continue their legitimate work in the country.