Tag - Egypt ( 22 )

Report | Egypt Communications: May 1, 2011 to February 28, 2017

Feb 28 2017

This page summarizes cases raised with Egypt by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2017 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Egypt. Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared. Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available). Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Egypt, English). First Report (May 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012) Joint urgent appeal, 11/10/2011. Case no. EGY 11/2011. State Reply: 19/10/2011; 19/10/2011. Alleged harassment of the Coptic Christian community, restricting religious freedom and right to assemble, worship and practice. Joint allegation letter, 17/11/2011. Case no. EGY 12/2011. State Reply: 17/01/12. Alleged increasing climate of... Continue reading →

News | UN experts condemn Egypt as clampdown “tightens noose” on women’s rights movement

Dec 15 2016

GENEVA – A group of United Nations experts, including Maina Kiai, has strongly condemned Egypt for escalating its action against women human rights defenders and women rights groups as part of a continuing clampdown on civil society. “The Government’s actions are preventing women human rights defenders from conducting their legitimate activities and professions, and are leaving thousands of women in need of support and security,” the experts said. “The noose is tightening around the women’s rights movement, and this is having a direct and considerable impact on human rights.” The experts highlighted the arrest of lawyer Azza Soliman, a prominent human rights defender who founded the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA).  She was detained on 7 December and questioned by an investigative judge over the highly controversial case 173/2011, which centres on foreign funding of non-governmental organizations in Egypt. “The arrest and investigation of Azza Soliman demonstrates that the repression of Egypt’s human rights movement has escalated to a higher level,” the experts said with concern. “Ms. Soliman is a central figure in the country’s independent women’s rights movement. Targeting her sends a strong negative signal from the Government about its hostile... Continue reading →

News | Egypt steps up travel bans on rights defenders with “chilling effect”, UN expert warns

Nov 24 2016

GENEVA  – A United Nations rights expert has criticised Egypt’s increasing use of travel bans on human rights defenders, warning that the measures are hindering their legitimate work and infringing their fundamental rights. “Restrictions imposed on defenders’ freedom of movement have regrettably become routine in what is seen as a broader crackdown against Egyptian civil society that has continued unabated since 2011,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst. Mr. Forst has received the cases of more than 15 Egyptian human rights defenders, who were prevented from travelling abroad in 2016 for regional and international events. The restrictions are often based on investigations relating to a controversial foreign funding case, also known as Case No. 173, which reportedly led to the leaders and staff of at least 37 Egyptian rights organisations being charged with receiving ‘illegal foreign funding’ and ‘working without permission’. “It is seriously concerning to observe that travel bans, along with other restrictions on fundamental freedoms to free speech, association and assembly, seem to have become politically motivated means to stifle civil society movement in the country, and to choke legitimate and democratic debate, both... Continue reading →

News | Egypt NGO bill threatens to “devastate” civil society, UN expert warns

Nov 23 2016

GENEVA – United Nations expert Maina Kiai has expressed serious alarm at Egypt’s approval of a draft law which would impose major restrictions on the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Mr. Kiai said that if the bill became law, it would devastate the country’s civil society for generations to come and turn it into a government puppet. The Egyptian Parliament approved the bill on 15 November and sent it to the State Council for review; it will be sent back to the Parliament for a final vote at an unknown date. The government did not hold consultations with civil society on its contents. Mr. Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, said the law appeared to be “deliberately drafted to curtail civil society’s ability to operate, and to stifle their ability to freely express themselves”. The bill’s provisions violated international law and contradicted Egypt’s own constitution, he said. “This bill proposes perhaps the worst restrictions on fundamental freedoms in Egypt since the 2011 uprisings,” Mr. Kiai said. “It aims to destroy Egypt’s foundation for peaceful, civic engagement at its very roots. If it becomes law, it would devastate civil society not only in the short term, but possibly for generations to... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 7 (Issue 24) – October-November 2016

Nov 14 2016

Issue No. 24 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • In final presentation to UN General Assembly, Special Rapporteur reflects on time in mandate; warns that situation for civil society remains ‘precarious’ • Corporate power undermining workers’ assembly and association rights, Kiai warns • Litigation project: Developments in cases in Kazakhstan, Brazil and USA • UN experts urge India to release prominent Kashmiri human rights defender • Democratic Republic of Congo: experts urge end to ‘unjustified’ ban on protests • Ethiopia: call for international investigation into systematic violence against protesters • Maina Kiai’s Foreword to the Civic Charter: the Framework for People’s Participation • Experts blast Kenya for excessive force against anti-corruption protesters • Mauritania: UN experts concerned about situation of jailed rights activists • Egypt NGO law: Special Rapporteur Kiai warns about growing restrictions on civil society • Iran: UN expert Shaheed calls for the immediate release of dual nationals • Assembly & association rights: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in... Continue reading →

News | Egypt NGO law: UN expert warns about growing restrictions on civil society

Oct 11 2016

GENEVA - The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, Maina Kiai, warned today about the growing restrictions imposed on civil society in Egypt and the targeting of human rights defenders and human rights organizations. On 17 September 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court froze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three NGOs named in “Case 173 on foreign funding”. The order places the frozen assets under government custodianship, meaning that the organizations and individuals can no longer make independent decisions about the confiscated money. “These new developments intervene in a context of a continuing crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society organisations in Egypt since the reopening of the 2011 NGO case, known as the ‘ 173 foreign funding case’, in which a number of human rights defenders and heads of civil society organizations are being investigated,” said Mr. Kiai. “The Government seems to be systematically attacking civil society in an effort to silence its voice,” the human rights expert added. On 8 September, the Egyptian Cabinet approved a new draft NGO law retaining the restrictive provisions in the current NGO law (No. 84/2002). “The draft law also limits NGO work to ‘development and social... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Issue 21) – May-June 2016

Jun 21 2016

Issue No. 21 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Kiai tells Human Rights Council that fundamentalist intolerance is degrading assembly & association rights • Kenya: UNSR tells court that 2015 protest ban violated assembly rights • Contribute to the UNSR’s next report: FoAA rights in the context of labor • Human rights must gain new momentum at World Humanitarian Summit • Problem of closing civic space creeps into UN NGO Committee • Rapporteurs urge India to repeal law restricting NGO’s access to foreign funding • UN expert deplores harsh sentencing of Tajikistan opposition leaders and warns of radicalization • Egypt: Worsening crackdown on protests • UN human rights experts urge Cambodia to stop attacks against civil society • Iran: Denial of adequate medical treatment to political prisoners unacceptable • ‘A travesty of justice’ – UN experts condemn conviction of prominent Iran activist • China: Newly adopted Foreign NGO Law should be repealed, UN experts urge • Somalia: Experts alarmed over growing persecution against trade unionists • Kazakhstan clampdown on land reform... Continue reading →

News | Egypt: Worsening crackdown on protest, a further setback to human rights – UN experts

May 09 2016

GENEVA – Three United Nations human rights experts today urged the Egyptian Government to put an end to the disproportionate reactions against the exercise of the rights to assembly and expression in the country. “The worsening crackdown on peaceful protest and dissent in Egypt represents a further setback for an open political environment and a vibrant civil society,” today said the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression, David Kaye; on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, Maina Kiai; and on human rights defenders, Michel Forst. “The use of force against civil society and against the expression of dissenting views on political issues contribute to a deteriorating climate for the promotion and protection of fundamental rights that form the essential components of a democratic society,” they stressed. The rights experts condemned the authorities’ harsh response to the largest protests in Egypt in the past two years with mass arrests and use of force in a continued clampdown on peaceful protestors, journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders. They also criticised the storming of Egypt’s Journalists’ Syndicate by security forces on 1 May 2016, a first since its founding 75 years ago. On 15 and 25 April, protest took place across Egypt and security forces... Continue reading →

News | The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 3, No. 3 (Issue 20) – April 2016

Apr 27 2016

Issue No. 20 of the Assembly and Association Briefing, the newsletter of Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. In this issue: • Closing space for civil society in the United Kingdom, Special Rapporteur warns after official visit • India: Special Rapporteur says restrictions on foreign funding contrary to international law • Honduras: UN experts renew call to end impunity for murder of activists • UN experts urge Mexico to counter smear campaign and support human rights defenders • Egypt: end ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and organizations • What is permissible when countering terrorism? UN experts welcome new African guidelines • Freedom of association and assembly: By the numbers • Special Rapporteur news in brief:  March-April 2016 • World briefing: Freedom of assembly and association in the news For a link to the newsletter, click on the image at right or click here (1.9MB file) or here (13.6MB full resolution file). To subscribe to our newsletter, please drop us a line at info@freeassembly.net with the subject line “subscribe to newsletter.” For other recent newsletters, see the links below: The Assembly and Association Briefing, Vol. 2, No. 8 (Issue 17)... Continue reading →

News | UN experts urge Egypt to end ongoing crackdown on human rights defenders and organisations

Apr 11 2016

GENEVA – Three United Nations human rights experts, including Maina Kiai, today raised alarm at the continuing crackdown on human rights defenders and civil society organisations in Egypt. They warned that many NGOs have been closed down, and human rights defenders have been interrogated by the security forces, subjected to travel bans and had their assets frozen in retaliation for their legitimate and peaceful human rights work. “Egypt is failing to provide a safe and enabling environment for civil society in the country,” the UN experts on human rights defenders, freedom of expression, and freedoms of assembly and association said. “The Government must immediately put an end to all forms of persecution and take effective measures to protect civil society.” The rights experts reiterated their call on the Egyptian authorities to amend Law 84/2002 on Non-Governmental Organizations without delay, which remains in force despite widespread criticism. “The recent attempt to forcibly close the Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence demonstrates how Egypt’s NGO Law is being used to obstruct the reporting on human rights issues, such as torture,” explained the experts. The Center was issued with a closing order on 17 February 2016 for publishing reports on torture, which... Continue reading →