Friday, May 24, 2013

  • Friday, May 24, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
From Al Ahram:
Following Egypt's January 2011 revolution, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had hoped for greater autonomy and freedom of association. These hopes, however, have been largely dashed by a new draft law set to be passed imminently by Egypt's Shura Council, the upper house of parliament that currently holds legislative powers.

The proposed legislation – which, drafted by the Islamist-led council's human development committee, is aimed at regulating the activities of NGOs operating in Egypt – is perceived by many to be more repressive than its Mubarak-era predecessor: Law 84 of 2002.

As it currently stands, the bill will allow Egypt's social solidarity ministry to scrutinise every decision issued by the boards of civil society organisations.

What's more, the draft law stipulates that membership in or cooperation with international associations must be approved by the Egyptian authorities.

"They would even recquire NGOs to keep visitor logs – providing details about when meetings are held, the topics discussed and visitors' identities – to which they would have access," said Abu-Saeda.

Raising further alarm, Egypt's State Security apparatus will have a seat in a new interagency committee tasked with scrutinising every aspect of the projects carried out by civil society groups, giving it direct influence over the authorisation process and funding.

"How can security agencies be involved in monitoring the work of civil society, which itself seeks to observe and expose violations and abuses committed by those same security agencies?" asked Mohamed Zaree, Egypt programme director at the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.
This is far, far more restrictive than any Israeli laws concerning NGOs. So it will be interesting to see if the reaction to this will be as furious as that towards Israel.


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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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