International Organizations Slam Egyptian Court Decision Against Human Rights Activists

International Organizations Slam Egyptian Court Decision Against Human Rights Activists


A wave of international criticism followed the Cairo Criminal Court’s decision to freeze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on Saturday.

The European Union External Action Service criticized Saturday’s court decision in a statement, saying it “will directly affect a wide range of civil society organizations operating in the field of human rights.”

“The increased pressure on independent Egyptian civil society, in particular human rights organizations and defenders, is not in line with Egypt’s commitments to promote and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms as guaranteed by its Constitution and enshrined in the EU-Egypt Association Agreement, which is the basis for our partnership,” the statement reads.

The EU further called on Egyptian authorities to “allow the independent functioning of civil society organizations and human rights defenders as guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and in line with international human rights standards.”

Amnesty International also denounced the court decision, calling it a “shameless ploy to silence human rights activism.”

“We are calling for this unjust ruling to be quashed with immediate effect, and for the Egyptian authorities to cease their harassment of these human rights defenders and members of their families. This is a blatant misuse of the criminal justice system to prevent people speaking out about the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the country,” Amnesty International quoted Philip Luther, its Middle East and North Africa Director, as saying.

New York-based Human Rights Watch also criticized the decision, with its Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson saying, “Egyptian authorities are single-mindedly pushing for the elimination of the country’s most prominent independent human rights defenders.”

The court ruling affected five activists, namely Hossam Bahgat, the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Gamal Eid, Director of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) Bahy al-Din Hassan, Director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center Mosatafa al-Hassan and Director of the Egyptian Center on the Right to Education Abdel Hafiz al-Taye.

“If they are punishing us for what we have done, I only feel the most pride for everything I have done before, during and after the revolution. And if they are trying to deter us from working in the future, they are simply delusional,” Hossam Bhagat wrote on Facebook after the verdict. 

The case dubbed as “the foreign funding trial” dates back to 2011, when Egyptian authorities started raiding several NGOs and launched an investigation into foreign funding allegedly funneled into the organizations.

Investors Keeping an Eye on Egypt's Next Economic Steps, Say Euromoney Experts
Egypt Denounces US Statement Calling for Aya Hegazy’s Release

Subscribe to our newsletter


More in News


Egypt Court Releases Mother of Suez FGM Victim, Postpones Trial to November

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
John Kerry

US Shifts Over $100 Million of Aid Away From Egypt

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016

Egypt’s Mediation Efforts Secure Evacuations, Delivery of Humanitarian Aid, Says Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
A worker sells subsidized food commodities at a government-run supermarket in Cairo, Egypt, Feb.14, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt to Consider Boosting Subsidies to Shield Low-Income Citizens from Hardships of Economic Reform

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
An Egyptian supporter waves a national flag during the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match, at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt to Reopen Stadiums to Soccer Fans for World Cup Qualifier

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Egypt's military prepares ahead of new operations against militants in Sinai

43 Terrorists Killed in Egypt Military Operations

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Archive photo

Police Conscript Shoots Dead Police Officer in Egypt Following Quarrel

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
The Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Khufu)

Scans Uncover ‘Cavities’ in Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.