CAIRO: Unlike some NGOs that ended their work in Egypt, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) announced Sunday it will continue its work in the country despite the controversial NGO Law giving the government control of NGOs boards and management.
The EIPR in its announcement also called on the government to cancel the law.
“The board of trustees of EIPR (currently registered as a limited liability company) announced that though it has long criticized the ambiguities and restrictions of the flawed 2002 NGO Law, it has decided to respond to the government’s ultimatum by applying for registration under it,” the EIPR said in a statement.
The organization added that though it sought to register under the law, the government “declined to meet identifying its activities.”
“The law now contradicts Egypt’s 2014 Constitution, which upholds the right of all citizens to form and operate associations after simply notifying the relevant authorities,” the statement said.
According to the current Law 84 of 2002, NGOs could be closed in the event they do not register with the Ministry of Social Solidarity within a year after the law comes into force. The government could object to the organizations’ structure and cancel their administrative decisions in addition to the government being allowed to approve NGOs for raising funds.
The ministry initially set a 45-day period for organizations to register and it was extended for another 45 days, with the deadline coming Nov. 9, although national and international NGOs called on the government to amend the law.
On Dec. 9, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) announced it would move its activities outside Egypt to Tunisia due to the new “draconian associations law” passed by the government.
In November, the Cultural Resource Organization and the Arab Penal Reform Organization also announced the end of their activities in Egypt.