For defending the right to assembly and association

March 23rd, 2010 by Editor

Announcing the establishment of  “The Coalition of Freeing Civil Work in Egypt

A number of human rights organizations came together on Monday, 22.3.2010 at EOHR’s office to discuss the bill of NGOs prepared by the Ministry of Social Solidarity which brought it before  the Council of Ministers for approval, in the preparation for submitting it to People’s Assembly and Shura Council. They confirmed that the bill ignored the recommendations concerned with NGOs’ law issued by UN Human Rights Council within the framework of the Universal Periodic Review for Egypt‘s file on the situation of human rights. Also the bill violated the Constitution and  international covenants on human rights, particularly on freedom of assembly and association, declaring the establishment of “The Coalition of Freeing Civil Work in Egypt


Participants described the Government’s proposed amendments as a restriction and a siege to the civil work in
Egypt,  as a form of  imposing more restrictions on the right of NGOs to the establishment. The bill  gave new powers to the Regional Union  in this regard, as it requires the  regional union’s membership as a condition for the establishment in addition to the approval of the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Also the bill is not only narrows the NGOs’  work  activities  which were restricted in just two fields but also required the approval of the Regional Union and to notify the administrative side as well. The bill authorizes the dissolving power to the competent minister  instead of such a decision issued by a competent court and with a final judicial decision. The bill also continued to impose restrictions on the right of NGOs to receive fund  from abroad to support their activities and sustain on the Ministry’s permission to receive the fund. On the other hand, the bill prevented the non-profit  civil companies from doing their  work  as the bill considered them as” semi-NGOs”.



Participants confirmed  that the main articles of the proposed bill Imposed on NGOs to join the general federation for NGOs and the regional and qualitative unions and also imposed penalties on NGOs which will not take this approach during the period of 3 months. Also NGOs were asked to submit an annual report on the activities to the regional union and a copy to the general federation for NGOs,  in addition to the interference of the executive authority in the formation of the board of trustees for the general federation for NGOs, regional and qualitative union.



The bill gave the executive authority represented in the president and the competent minister the power  to appoint the members of the board of trustees for the regional and qualitative unions and the general federation for NGOs, and the control  over the international organizations in Egypt. The bill has specialized the fourth chapter for this organizations, it  gave the license for practicing the activity to the competent minister after the approval  of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, then the competent administration side will determine  the activities which  the international organizations will practice.


The activities of the international organization shall be in harmony with the needs of the Egyptian environment , and to respect the public system and the  rules of behaviors. The competent minister has the right to abolish the activity or the license of the organization in Egypt, as it  gave a wide range of competences to the general federation for NGOs  to propose new amendments on NGOs’ law  and issuing such  decisions to  facilitate  the applying of the law as well as receiving fund.


At the end of the meeting, the participants agreed on holding a press conference on Sunday   28th of march 2010, at EOHR’s office at 12:00 PM  to announce on the agenda of the coalition during the next stage.


The press conference will discuss the proposed governmental amendments, and the best steps to be taken to face these amendments, this is for the sake of defending the right to assembly and association which is guaranteed by the Constitution and the international covenants concerned with human rights, the matter which will lead to the establishment of   free and  efficient civil society which is able to contribute to the promotion of democracy and human rights in Egypt.


The meeting included the following:

1 – The United Group for legal Advice.
2 –
Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and legal profession.
3 – Arab Organization for Penal Reform.
4 – The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
5 – Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-violence.
6 – Association for the Development of Society in Mansoura.
7 – One World Foundation for the Care of Civil Society.





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