Ongoing judicial harassment of Egypt NGOs


The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is protesting the continued judicial harassment and the restrictions to freedom of association faced by several Egyptian human rights organizations, as well as their staff and members, in the framework of the so-called case No. 173/2011, also known as the “NGO foreign funding case”.

According to the information received, on December 12, 2016, during a court hearing regarding the freezing of assets belonging to human rights lawyer Ms. Azza Soliman (right), the investigative judge requested the North Cairo Court to freeze the assets of Ms. Mozn Hassan (above), Founder and Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, Mr. Mohamed Zarea, head of Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO), as well as the assets of the two organisations. The request will be examined by the court on January 11, 2017.

The new NGO law “comes at a time when the local and international public are no longer behind us,” Hassan tells Qantara. “For a while, the government tried to amend the law from 2002. Luckily, we were able to call on either local or international support. Today, local discourse has turned against us. Human rights organisations are blamed for not helping the state and those who work for NGOs are branded spies. And at an international level no-one is interested in Egypt these days.”

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

  1. Put an end to all forms of harassment – including at the judicial level – against all human rights defenders in Egypt as they only aim to sanction their legitimate human rights activities;
  2. Guarantee in all circumstances the freedom of movement and association of human rights defenders, by immediately and unconditionally lifting all travel bans and assets freeze imposed against them, as they aim only at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities;
  3. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially Articles 1 and 12.2; and
  4. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.

Addresses: ·

  • President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 23901998 ·
  • Prime Minister, Mr. Sherif Ismail. Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016. Email: ·
  • Minister of the Interior, General Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, E-mail:, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529
  • Minister of Justice, Mr. Ahmed Al-Zanad, E-mail:, Fax: +202 2795 8103
  • Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716 ·
  • Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of the National Council For Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email:
  • H.E. Ms. Wafaa Bassim, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, Email:, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15
  • Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country.

Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.


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