By POMED –
On August 21, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi officially signed a new NGO law, which parliament had passed on July 14. The law has drawn strong criticism from rights organizations who have called it a “rebranding” of the draconian 2017 law. The new law, among other things, will:
- restrict activities that violate “national security,” “public order,” and “public morals,” or include “political” work,
- replace jail time penalties with exorbitant fines,
- prohibit work or cooperation with—or funding from—foreign organizations without prior government approval
permit government surveillance of activities, and
- severely limit the ability of international organizations to operate in Egypt.
Political analyst Hafsa Halawa has pointed out that the government’s changes to the new NGO law are “superficial and meaningless” and a true fix requires changes to the “very detrimental penal code.”