- The Egyptian government has threaten to dissolve the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR), for allegedly accepting foreign funds in violation of the Associations Law 84 of 2002, Egyptian authorities have said.
According to a letter signed by the Minister of Social Solidarity, EOHR had accepted money from the Center for Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, based in Morocco, in January for a co-regional conference in the country’s capital Cairo, advocating for freedom of expression.
The ministry's letter comes after the publication of the EOHR annual report of 2008 and two reports of torture and freedom of expression in the country.
However, EOHR has said that it abided by the law by reporting to the authorities since July 2008 about the conference and its application to receive foreign funds to host a conference, saying it did not receive a response from the government.
The EOHR said the law gives the authorities wide powers to dissolve and allow them to control the work of NGOs by restricting their access to foreign funds and their ability to join international organisations.
The Association for Human Rights and Legal Aid (AHRLA) was dissolved under the same pretext in September 2007, but was re-registered in October 2008.
During the past year, the EOHR and other freedom of expression advocates have been campaigning tirelessly to change the law in line with international standards of human rights, the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1988 of the UN.
The Egyptian organisations have called on the international and regional organisations to unite in solidarity against this kind of legislation that paralyses the work of NGOs in their country.
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