TIMEP Brief: Freedom of Association

Source: The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Author(s): N/A

Original Link: https://timep.org/special-reports/timep-brief-freedom-of-association/

  • Egypt severely restricts freedom of association, despite the protections of the right in the constitution, with court cases targeting prominent rights defenders, wide-ranging travel bans and asset freezes, bureaucratic hurdles to organization, and a regressive new law on nongovernmental organizations.
  • A short period in 2011 saw an expansion in the number and character of civil society groups, but was quickly interrupted when security forces stormed 17 international organizations and arrested 43 civil society workers in the infamous NGO trial (Case 173). The case was reopened in 2016, and at least 13 other individuals have been interrogated (and face asset freezes and travel bans), and several civil society organizations have been closed by Egyptian authorities.
  • In May 2017, President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi ratified a law that applies prohibitive regulations on NGO registration, funding, and activities, while imposing severe oversight and enabling the government to dissolve them at will. The law also prescribes harsh sentences for failure to comply and has been condemned by local and international rights groups as unfairly repressive.

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