Politically-motivated Case 173, referred to by Egyptian media as the “foreign funding case,” looking into the registration and funding of Egyptian human rights organizations has escalated.

In June 2013, 43 foreign and Egyptian NGO workers were sentenced to prison terms of between one and five years and a series of international NGOs were shut down, including Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists, in relation to Case 173.

In the past year, investigative judges have ramped up pressure on Egyptian human rights groups, using arbitrary travel bans, arrests, and asset freezes to muzzle freedom of expression, association, and assembly in orchestrated efforts to dismantle the country’s human rights movement and crush the slightest signs of dissent. Leading human rights defenders are at risk of life imprisonment if convicted of the politically-motivated charges against them.

We join Egyptian civil society and international human rights organizations in calling on the Egyptian authorities to Close Case 173 and halt all intimidation and harassment tactics against human rights defenders. Help amplify this call by following and sharing #CloseCase173online. We also call on President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi not to sign the new NGO law, which would be a “death warrant” for rights groups.

The intimidation and harassment of human rights activists has to stop.

Najia Bounaim, Deputy Director for Campaigns at Amnesty International’s Tunis Regional office

2016 Timeline

Activists at Risk

Leading human rights activists and organizations in Case 173 are under threat of life imprisonment and closure.
Aida Seif El-Dawla, a former psychiatry professor at Cairo’s Ain Shams University and co-founder of Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence • Known for her work to combat torture, promoting women’s rights and freedom of association • Recipient of several international awards, including Human Rights Watch’s highest honour in 2003 • Banned from travel, organisation at risk of closure.
Name: Abdel Hafez Tayel Affiliation: Director of Egyptian Center for Right to Education Known for promoting human rights education in Egypt Targeted: Defendant in Case 173, travel banned, personal and organisation’s assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment
Ahmed Samih, Director of Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies • Known for advocating for tolerance and eliminating discrimination • Personal assets frozen.
Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, founded in 2004 • Research institute working in Egypt and the rest of the MENA region to strengthen the values of tolerance and eliminate all forms of discrimination • Director’s assets frozen, organisation’s assets frozen.
Arab Penal Reform Organisation, founded in 2004 • Works on reform of legislation and punitive systems in the Arab world • Named in Case 173, potential asset freeze.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, founded in 2004 • Works on defending freedom of expression in the Arab world, especially press freedom • Director and founder defendant in Case 173 (assets frozen and travel banned), investigative judge interrogation of deputy director, and summons of other staff.
Azza Soliman, Head of Lawyers for Justice and Peace, head of board of trustees Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance • Known for defending the rights of women in Egypt • Defendant in Case 173, travel banned, personal and law firm’s assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment.
Bahey el-Din Hassan, Founder and Director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies • Known for defending human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the Arab region • Awarded the French Republic’s Human Rights Prize • Defendant in Case 173, assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment.
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, founded in 1993 • Works on promoting respect for the principles of human rights and democracy in the Arab region • Assets frozen.
Egyptian Democratic Academy, founded in 2009 • Works on spreading values of democracy, human rights, political participation, freedom of expression, and political and religious tolerance • Three staff members interrogated and issued with a travel ban by Case 173 investigative judge
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, founded in 2002 • Works on strengthening and protecting basic rights and freedoms in Egypt through research, advocacy and supporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and social rights, and criminal justice • Case 173 investigative judge interrogation of chief financial officer.
Gamal Eid • Founder and Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) • Known for defending the right to freedom of expression in the Arab world • Awarded the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award for ANHRI’s struggle for freedom of expression and press freedom in Egypt, as well as the Leaders for Democracy Award • Defendant in Case 173, banned from travel banned, assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment.
Hoda Abdelwahab, Executive Director of the Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession • Known for advocating for legal reform in the judicial system, including ensuring the right to a fair trial is upheld • Banned from travel.
Hossam Bahgat, investigative journalist at Mada Masr, founder and board member of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights • Known for his investigative journalism and defending civil rights and liberties • Awarded the Anna Politkovskaya prize, Alison Des Froges Award for Extraordinary Activism • Defendant in Case 173, banned from travel, assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment.
Hisham Mubarak Law Center, founded in: 1999 • With offices in Cairo and Aswan, works on human rights through litigation, campaigns, and legal research • Assets frozen.
Mohamed Zaree, Egypt office director of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies • Known for advocating for democracy and human rights in Egypt • Banned from travel, organization’s assets frozen
Mohamed Zarea, Head of Arab Penal Reform Organisation • Known for working on reform of legislation and punitive systems in the Arab world • Defendant in Case 173, potential asset freeze of personal and organizational accounts, potential life imprisonment
Mostafa al-Hassan, Director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center • Known for promoting human rights through litigation, campaigns and legal research • Defendant in Case 173, assets frozen, at risk of life imprisonment
Mozn Hassan, founder and director of Nazra for Feminist Studies • Known for defending the rights of women in Egypt and the MENA region • Awarded the Right Livelihood Award (known as the ‘alternative Nobel’) and the Charlotte Bunch Human Rights Defender Award • Defendant in Case 173, banned from travel, potential asset freeze, at risk of life imprisonment.
Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, founded in 1993 • Works on providing vital services to victims of violence, including counselling and legal assistance • Co-founders Dr. Magda Adly and Suzan Fayad received Amnesty International’s highest award in 2014, the Ginetta Sagan Award • Threatened with closure, assets frozen then lifted
Nazra for Feminist Studies • Founded in 2007 • Works on contributing to and developing the feminist movement in Egypt and the MENA region • Named in Case 173, potential asset freeze, independence at risk from NGO draft law, staff members interrogated
Negad al-Borai, head of the legal unit at United Group for Law • Known for advocating for freedom of expression, association, and assembly • Interrogated on charges of establishing an illegal entity and spreading false information, questioned in connection with a workshop held on a draft anti-torture law.
Reda El Danbouky, Director of Women’s Center for Guidance and Legal Awareness • Known for advocating for the rights of women and girls, especially against female genital mutilation • Banned from travel

Help us put pressure on Egyptian authorities to #closecase173 and on President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi not to sign the new NGO law. Tweet, share, take action.

Learn more about the escalation in the crackdown against human rights activists and organisations in 2016:

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Act now. Support the human rights defenders and organizations in Egypt against harassment, travel bans, asset freezes, and imprisonment.