Responding to the news that the South Cairo Criminal Court this morning acquitted all 43 defendants in the retrial of Egypt’s notorious “foreign funding” case – also known as Case 173 - Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director said:
“Today’s acquittal of all 43 NGO workers in the first ‘foreign funding’ case is a step in the right direction for Egyptian justice. This was a bogus case that targeted human rights defenders simply for doing their legitimate work and should never have happened in the first place.
“However, today’s ruling only relates to the first phase of the case which investigated the funding of international organizations; the investigation into local Egyptian NGOs is ongoing and dozens of staff are still at risk.
“Since the ‘foreign funding’ case was opened Egyptian human rights defenders have been treated as enemies of the state, subjected to an unprecedented crackdown, including asset freezes, travel bans and prosecutions.