Civil Society Criticizes Egypt's Restrictive NGO Law

On May 30, 2017, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi signed 87 highly punitive articles comprising the NGO Law. The law further restricts the operations of Egypt’s 47,000 civil society organizations (CSOs), which are now required to receive permission from the government to conduct all of their activities. The law impedes civil society’s right to access funding by imposing burdensome reporting and costly registration requirements on all CSOs. Should a CSO fail to comply with the requirements, they will be dissolved. Additionally, CSO members found guilty of establishing an NGO in violation of Egypt’s NGO Law face a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine of as high as $55,157 (USD). According to Hafez Abu Saada, Director of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, “It is very repressive and intimidates citizens to discourage them from participating in civil society and community work.”

International human rights organizations, the European External Action Service, the Human Rights Commissioner of Germany's Federal Government, and members of the European Parliament have joined Egyptian human rights activists in calling upon the Egyptian government to reform the NGO Law. The World Movement for Democracy urges the government of Egypt to end repression of civil society organizations, and respect the universal right to access resources including foreign-funding. Click here to join us in sharing this story