A new law on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Egypt, currently with the Shura Council, would effectively be a death blow to independent civil society in Egypt, said Amnesty International.
If it passes in its current form, the Egyptian authorities would have wide-ranging powers over the registration, activities and funding of civil society organizations. It would also allow for the creation of a new Co-ordinating Committee, which is likely to include representatives of security and intelligence agencies.
Those found in violation of the law would face hefty fines and potential prison sentences.
President Morsi announced today that he had referred the law to the Shura Council, Egypt’s nominal upper house of parliament. While the lower house remains dissolved, the Council has the authority to pass new legislation until elections are held to elect a lower house.