Local civil society organizations refuse the new NGO code and draft another one instead

January 22nd, 2012 by Editor

The representatives of the local and international civil society organizations refused the draft law submitted by the Egyptian government altogether, in the framework of the press conference entitled “Free Civil Society”, held on January 22, 2012, at the headquarters of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR). The draft law does not provide any freedom to the civil society organizations for doing their purposed tasks aimed at spreading the principals of human rights and democracy.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, stated that the civil society organizations are considered as a significant part of the Egyptian society. These organizations worked on cementing the principals of human rights and democracy for many years. The newly-formed parliament should support the “Free Civil Society” campaign. The civil society organizations suffered much under the law drafted in 1964.

Mohamed Anwar Al Sadat, the parliamentary member, head of Reform and Development Political Party, said that the law, drafted by the Egyptian government, is totally rejected. The government should set the civil society free if the comprehensive development is needed. NGOs should be given the right to draft their own law. Sadat added that the situation has changed and the role of the civil society organizations in development and human rights’ defense went more significant. The civil society organizations are issuing a new draft law contributes to deepening their participation in the political, social and economic development. Many concepts are in need to be changed in Egypt after the revolution.

Dr. Emad Gad, the expert of Al Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Study, parliamentary member, stressed on the important role of the civil society organizations in defending the human rights’ standards. All the Egyptian powers are supposed to support the NGOs to step over the defamation campaign they face these days. These NGOs supported all the oppressed political powers in Egypt for decades. NGOs should be enabled to participate effectively in the democratic transformation in Egypt. For too long, NGOs came under oppression and domination of Mubarak Regime that aimed at defamation of these NGOs and even the independent human rights and political activists.

Mr. Ahmed Fawzi, the secretary general of the Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, stated that the Supreme Council for Armed Forces and the cabinet insist on drafting a new law for NGOs, although drafting new legislations is the mission and task of the parliament. The civil society organizations uncovered the violations of Mubarak Regime, especially cooking the parliamentary elections of 2010 for the National Democratic Party. The former NDP leaders and members are still placing obstacles and challenges on the way of the Egyptian and international civil society organizations. Not all the civil society organizations, located in Egypt are targeted by the dismantled NDP corruption member, but only the organizations that defend human rights and democracy, which exposed the illegal practices of Mubarak Regime.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) holds an open discussion meeting for the Egyptian civil society organizations on January 19, 2012 in order to launch the “Free Civil Society” campaign, which aims at drafting a new code for NGOs instead of code no. 84, year 2002. The meeting, held at the headquarters of EOHR, will be participated by political and human rights activists, representatives of civil society organizations and political parties and professors of law.

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, the head of EOHR, stated that the open discussion is aimed at gathering and unifying the points of view and attitude towards an effective new code for the civil society organizations in Egypt, suitable for the democratic transformation era. The campaign is aimed at promoting the draft law locally to gain support and satisfaction of the majority of the Egyptian NGOs.

The attendees affirmed that the draft law prepared by the Egyptian government considered the civil society organizations as local units follows the Ministry of Social Affairs. They also stressed on the necessity of communication and coordination among all the coalitions of civil society organizations and the different political powers in order to adopt a unified vision toward drafting a new law for NGOs in order to be submitted to the new parliament. These coalitions also should keep on the “Free Civil Society” campaign, which aims at drafting a new code for NGOs instead of code no. 84, year 2002 that should aim also at spreading awareness of the NGOs roles’ significance among the wide range of people

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