CAIRO: The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) issued a statement to President Abd al-Fatah al-Sisi Wednesday expressing their deep concern over the Ministry of Social Solidarity’s “negative direction” that tends to be against the constitution and the interests of the NGOs.
The statement said that “NGOs worked with the ministry while it was headed by previous minister Ahmed Al-Borei for about 6 months in order to pass a new consensual law concerning NGOs, but new minister Ghada Wali disregarded the efforts of the former minister and civil society and passed another law on June 26, aimings to nationalize 40,000 organizations, turning them to semi-governmental bodies.”
The minister later directed a warning to these NGOs on Jul. 18, saying that the ministry is going to cancel the activities of bodies working in civil work within 45 days, according to the CIHRS statement.
Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab met last July with head of CIHRS Bahey El-Din Hassan to discuss another joint statement signed by 23 NGOs demanding the withdrawal of the new suggested law by Wali and the warning, according to the statement.
It was stated that the PM promised Hassan to meet with the NGOs to discuss their demands, however, it never happened. “The statement sent to the president makes the same demands included in the memo to the prime minister.”
The joint statement issued last month, signed by 23 NGOs and delivered to Mahlab Jul. 24 described Wali’s law as a “repressive and a flagrant violation of the constitution.”
NGOs’ situation in Egypt was criticized lately by the U.S. Congress subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, as they listened to testimonies of a number of civil societies who called for the U.S. government to re-evaluate its aid to Egypt, after they were banned from working in Egypt.