Egypt Freezes Assets of Human Rights Activists
In response to the Egyptian government on March 17 freezing the bank accounts and other assets of four human rights defenders and their families, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“By freezing the assets of prominent human rights figures, Egypt’s government continues to criminalize political opposition, journalists critical of the government, and human rights efforts," said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “These spurious charges of illegal foreign funding should be dropped, and the assets of the four activists—including Gamal Eid and Hossam Bahgat—unblocked.”
On March 17, 2016, an Egyptian court ordered the freezing of assets of four Egyptian human rights activists and their families as part of an investigation, dating from 2011, into allegations of illegal foreign funding. The four activists include Hossam Bahgat, founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), and Gamal Eid, founder of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
Last month, Bahgat and Eid were denied the right to travel outside the country. In 2015, Bahgat, who also writes for the news outlet Mada Masr, was detained for three days after writing about a secret military trial.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.