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Egyptian Court Decision May Ease Restrictions on Human Rights Groups
In response to an Egyptian court ruling that non-governmental organizations can receive foreign funding if officials determine the organizations do not undermine public security, Freedom House released the following statement:
“The court ruling means that the Egyptian government should now reverse the policies that have silenced NGOs and human rights activists,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “Organizations working with victims of torture and those working to uphold fundamental freedoms in no way threaten security or public order and should be allowed to operate freely and receive foreign funding. The government should also drop all charges against Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, Bahey el-din Hassan, and countless other human rights activists.”
Government restrictions on the funding of non-governmental organizations dating back to 2011 have crippled the country’s civil society and led to unprecedented restrictions on freedom of association in Egypt. Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, and Bahey el-din Hassan are among the human rights activists facing criminal charges. On May 23, a Cairo court will consider freezing the activists' assets.
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.