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In a public statement released on July 11, 10 human rights organizations, including the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Nadeem Center, and Freedom Initiative, condemned Egypt’s draft NGO law as a simple “rebranding” of the current draconian law passed in 2017.

According to the statement, the draft law contains the same “underlying hostility to civil society organizations” and continues “to subordinate [NGOs] to the security apparatus.” The draft law eliminates jail time penalties, but it replaces them with exorbitant fines, while the penal code and counterterrorism laws can still be used to criminalize political activists and NGOs.

These human rights organizations argued that the draft law ensures the state’s “virtual control” over NGO funding by requiring government approval for all foreign grants. The statement concludes by noting that the draft NGO law not only “[maintains] the repressive character of Law 70 of 2017 currently in force, it is considerably worse than Law 84 of 2002 and contravenes Egypt’s constitution and internal obligations.”

Parliament’s Social Solidarity Committee approved [Ar] the draft of the NGO law on July 11 and it will now go to the general assembly for a vote next week.


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