INCLO members strongly condemn the decision of the Cairo felony court to freeze the assets of several human rights advocates

This past Saturday, September 17th, 2016, the Cairo Felony Court issued an order freezing the assets of Hossam Bahgat, the former director and founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), as well as Gamal Eid, the director and founder of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI); the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and its founder and director Bahey eldin Hassan; the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and its director, lawyer Mustafa al-Hassan; and the Egyptian Center for the Right to Education and its director, Abd al-Hafiz Tayel.

The current confirmation of the freeze of assets is part of the “Case 173 on foreign funding”, in which NGOs are being accused of receiving foreign funding to cause chaos in Egypt. Within this case, over the past six months, at least 12 Egyptian human rights NGOs have been affected by specific repressive measures (including travel bans, asset freeze orders, summoning of staff or directors for interrogation, and closure orders). In addition, there has been an increase in arrests, long-term detention and prosecutions of political activists, as well as moves against the Journalists’ Syndicate and the few remaining critical voices in the media.

As national human rights organizations, from countries in the North and South that work closely with partner Egyptian groups, we are deeply concerned for the continuing crackdown on human rights defenders and independent civil society organizations in Egypt. We call on our respective governments to use their influence with Egyptian officials to urge them to halt the ongoing investigations of independent human rights organizations and advocates in relation to their legitimate activities, to cease the harassment and prosecution of civil society organizations, women’s rights activists, journalists, and human rights defenders, and to ensure an overall open and safe environment for civil society organizations in Egypt.

The following International Network for Civil Liberties Organizations’ (INCLO) member organizations support the statement:

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

International Human Rights Group Agora (Agora)

Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA)

Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)

Human Rights Law Network (HRLN)

Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU)

Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC)

Legal Resources Centre (LRC)

Liberty

Read the whole solidarity letter here

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