Egypt: Amendments to repressive NGO law little more than token ‘cosmetic’ changes
A draft new NGO law approved by Egypt’s parliament yesterday and intended to replace the country’s draconian 2017 NGO law will do little to end the devastating crackdown faced by human rights groups in the country in recent years, said Amnesty International, publishing its analysis of the proposed amendments today.
The draft new NGO law maintains some of the most draconian provisions of the 2017 law and includes only a handful of token cosmetic changes to address human rights concerns
“The draft new NGO law maintains some of the most draconian provisions of the 2017 law and includes only a handful of token cosmetic changes to address human rights concerns. It continues to grant the Egyptian authorities sweeping powers to dissolve independent human rights groups and criminalizes legitimate activities of NGOs. The draft law will do little to end the climate of fear, repression and persecution faced by human rights defenders in Egypt,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director.
“The new law also blatantly contradicts Egypt’s own constitution and its international human rights obligations. We urge the Egyptian president to reject this draft law and request genuine reforms in line with international law and standards.”
Parliament approved the draft law yesterday. The president has 30 days to reject it; otherwise it comes into effect as law.
The draft new law continues to ban NGOs from receiving funding or raising funds domestically or abroad, carrying out certain legitimate human rights activities, conducting research and publishing findings without government permission. It grants the authorities the right to object to the registration of NGOs within 60 days of the date of notification, effectively requiring them to seek governmental permission for their establishment. It also gives the authorities the power to dissolve NGOs and prosecute staff based on vague allegations.