Renewed Crackdown on Egyptian Civil Society

On February 2, 2017, Citizen Lab published the “Nile Phish Report: Large-Scale Phishing Campaign Targeting Egyptian Civil Society.” The report details the several-month campaign against Egyptian activists who received various “phishing” emails including one that claimed to be a copy of an arrest warrant for Azza Soliman, the founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA). Several of the activists targeted by the attacks are affiliated with Case 173, or the “NGO foreign funding case,” and it is believed that the attacks are intended to support state surveillance against them. Citizen Lab has refrained from attributing the attacks to any particular entity, but the Egyptian state is suspected of playing some role in the attacks, yet another indication of an increasingly hostile environment for civil society in the country.

Attacks against Egyptian civil society have continued offline as well. Three weeks ago, the government placed a travel ban on Negad El Borai, an Egyptian human rights lawyer and the Director of United Group for Law, for his involvement in the “NGO foreign funding case.” On February 4, 2017, another travel ban was issued against civil society activist Gamal Eld, Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI). Five days later, Egyptian security forces shut down El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (El Nadeem). 

Learn more about Egyptian activists who have been wrongfully targeted for their human rights work, and what you can do to help at