Egypt is tightening its chokehold on civil society, Amnesty International warned, as the country’s independent NGOs face the risk of being shut down if they fail to comply with a compulsory requirement to register by 2 September.
All non-governmental organizations could face closure and possible prosecution if they do not register by that date under the existing draconian law on associations.
“The looming deadline sounds very much like a death sentence for independent Egyptian NGOs. The authorities’ ultimatum is not about enabling NGOs to operate and instead paves the way for the closure of those that are critical of the government,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“The Egyptian authorities must immediately withdraw the requirement for compulsory registration, which is contrary to international human rights standards.”
The organization also urged the authorities to drop plans for a new law on NGOs which is set to be even more repressive than the current legislation.