Ten civil society organisations call for a "serious" dialogue with the government - statement

Wednesday 19-11-2014 09:33 AM
Ten civil society organisations call for a

Rights activist works outside his raided office - photo from Reuters


CAIRO, Nov 18 (Aswat Masriya) - Ten Egyptian civil society organisations called for a "serious" dialogue with the ministry of social solidarity to address the role of the organisations in Egypt and the government's fears towards them in a statement released on Tuesday.

The signatories to the statement include the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), New Woman Foundation, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, Nazra for feminist Studies, and the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement.

"We have nothing to hide or fear discussing," the organisations said in the statement, expecting the ministry and other governmental bodies to engage in a dialogue that upholds the nation’s best interests, with basic rights for Egyptians at its core.

The initiative comes in the wake of a statement released on November 11 by the ministry of social solidarity, addressing these organisations to register the "entities" providing social work under the law number 84 for the year 2002 for civil associations.

Ghada Wali, minister of social solidarity, had agreed to grant NGOs time to settle their status until November 10.

The organisations have also emphasized the importance of activating article 75 of the 2014 constitution, which stresses the organisations' freedom to work.

Article 75 stipulates that “all citizens shall have the right to form non-governmental associations and foundations on democratic basis, which shall acquire legal personality upon notification. Such associations and foundations shall have the right to practice their activities freely, and administrative agencies may not interfere in their affairs or dissolve them, or dissolve their boards of directors or boards of trustees save by a court judgment.”

Egypt recently vowed to study over 300 recommendations submitted on November 7 by around 122 states which have questioned its human rights record during the Arab country's second Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

The UPR session, held at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on November 5, reviewed the country's human rights record throughout four years which have witnessed Egypt’s most politically volatile conditions in decades.

The session was preceded by wide criticism for Egypt's rights record by domestic and international civil society organisations, as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

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