The Egyptian government has escalated measures to intimidate and suppress civil society organizations and women’s groups.
Many civil society organizations have been impacted, including feminist organization, Nazra for Feminist studies and the women-led organization el Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture. Forty-three organizations have released a public statement condemning the increased targeting.
The crackdown is the most recent step in the “Foreign Funding case” that began in 2011. The case accuses human right’s organizations of receiving foreign funds for illegal purposes and working without registration, crimes punishable by fines and life imprisonment.
Egyptian authorities have summoned human rights workers for interrogation, imposed travel bans and attempted to freeze their personal funds and family assets. The regime has been successful in closing many prominent international human rights organizations, including Freedom House and the National Democratic Institute. Now Egyptian organizations fear the same fate.
In Egypt, Women Human Right’s Defenders (WHRDs) arouse more hostility than their male counterparts because of their perceived threat to traditional social structures and gender roles. WHRDs have been targets of gender-specific attacks since before the revolution. Assaults range from harassment and rape to stripping off of clothes, sexuality baiting, and threatening women with prostitution charges. The attacks against WHRDs are used to silence and exclude women from public spaces and the political events shaping Egypt’s future. The women’s movement in Egypt continues to work to deconstruct the stereotype that there is only one type of Egyptian woman that does (and should) exist.
“Egypt: Unprecedented Crackdown on NGOs”, Amnesty International, March 23, 2016.
“At Risk: Women Human Right’s Defenders around the world”, Nobel Women’s Initiative, 2015.
“Women Human Right’s Defenders in Egypt”,Nazra for Feminist Studies and Cairo Institute for Human Rights.
“Gender Documentation – A Manual for and About WHRDs”, Women Human Right’s Defenders International Coalition, 2015.
Join Amnesty International to take action by sending appeals before May 20, 2016 to Egyptian Authorities to lift travel bans and assets freezes on human right’s defenders and enact a new law on associations.