Egypt (NFA) – In response to the Egyptian government’s order closing the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture on February 9, as part of the tightening restrictions on civil society, Freedom House issued the following statement:…
United Nations expert Maina Kiai has expressed serious alarm at Egypt’s approval of a draft law which would impose major restrictions on the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
Mr. Kiai said that if the bill became law, it would devastate the country’s civil society for generations to come and turn it into a government puppet.
The Egyptian Parliament approved the bill on 15 November and sent it to the State Council for review; it will be sent back to the Parliament for a final vote at an unknown date. The government did not hold consultations with civil society on its contents.
Mr. Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, said the law appeared to be “deliberately drafted to curtail civil society’s ability to operate, and to stifle their ability to freely express themselves”.
Hefty Fines for Organizations that Don’t Comply
Israel’s new law regulating nongovernmental organizations targets human rights organizations and other groups that criticize the government with onerous reporting requirements about donations from foreign governments. The law, written in a way to exempt many organizations that support government policies and settlement activities, including those that receive foreign private donations, sets back freedom of association in Israel.
“Israel’s new NGO law subjects groups such as human rights organizations and political groups that criticize the current government to expensive, inconvenient, and redundant requirements,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine director.