“The decision taken by an Egyptian court to freeze the assets of two prominent human right organizations and their directors continues a worrying trend of restricting space for civil society to operate in Egypt as seen by the recent multiplication of travel bans and asset freezes imposed on prominent human rights defenders and organizations”- says the statement of the EEAS spokesperson commenting the case against NGOs in Cairo.
“Human rights defenders and an active civil society play a key role in democratic and economic development, helping build political stability”.
“In this regard, it is essential that human rights defenders and civil society are free to operate in a favourable environment and that all the guarantees stipulated in the Egyptian Constitution regarding freedom of expression and association are fully implemented and upheld”.
The decision concludes the five-year long case started in December 11, 2017 when the North Cairo first instance Court decided to freeze the assets of Ms. Mozn Hassan, Founder and Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies (Nazra), Mr. Mohamed Zarea, Director of the Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO), Mr. Atef Hafez, legal researcher at APRO in a procedure of Criminal case No. 173/2011, publicly known as the “NGO foreign funding” case.
On Wednesday 11/01/2017 the higher Court instance approved a freeze on the assets of three human rights activists: Mozn Hassan, director of the Nazra for Feminist Studies, Mohamed Zarea, head of the Arab Penal Reform Organization, and Atef Hafez, director of the Arab Organization for Judicial Reform, the accused were incriminated the “reception of foreign funds to sow chaos”.