January 31st, 2012 by Editor
On January 31, 2012, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) submitted the draft law of the civil society organizations to the Egyptian government and the parliament instead of law no. 84, year 2002.
EOHR held 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, was participated by political and human rights activists, representatives of civil society organizations and political parties and professors of law.
EOHR formed a legal committee included political and human rights activists, representatives of civil society organizations and political parties and professors of law; the committee studied the law drafted by the government and placed a new one adopts the points of views of the civil society organizations. EOHR submitted the law to the civil society organizations to be signed. The draft law includes a number of important principals including:
First: freedom of forming NGOs:
- A new NGO can be established by informing the concerned body only and the establishment procedures will not obstacles on the way of registration.
- Establishment of a new NGO should be unconditional. The right of peaceful assembly is guaranteed according to articles no. 55 and 56 of the Egyptian constitution.
- NGOs should be able to implement economical, social, cultural, vocational and political activities. The new code should include complete definition for the prohibited political activities.
- The governmental authorities should not be allowed to search for documents without informing the NGOs’ staff members.
- The governmental authorities should not be allowed to control the NGOs general assembly or reject its decisions.
Second: dismantling NGOs:
- The governmental authorities should not be allowed to dismantle NGOs or freeze its activities; a decision must be made by court.
- The criminal code should not be applied on the civil society organizations.
- Forming a committee for solving disputes
Third: freedom of project financing and resource development:
- NGOs should have the free right to receive finances for its activities following informing the governmental authorities about the fund and the funded activities.
- NGOs’ donations and grants should be tax-free
- NGOs should be allowed to develop its funds and resources and accept donations from donating people or agencies, local or international and this kind of development could result revenues. The revenues can be used for implementing activities, but it is not allowed to be distributed among the NGOs’ members.
Fourth: freedom of expression:
- NGOs should be allowed to hold meetings in their headquarters or other outer places, based on the freedom of assembly
- NGOs should be allowed to issue publications
Fifth: joining local and international coalitions:
- NGOs should be allowed to form coalitions after informing the governmental authorities in addition to joining international coalitions.
- NGOs should be allowed to join the Egyptian General Federation of NGOs.
EOHR submitted the draft law of the civil society organizations to the Supreme Council for Armed Forces, the Egyptian government and the parliament in addition to the heads of the Egyptian political parties, in order to be discussed within a parliamentary session. The law will contribute cementing the principles of democracy and freedom after the Egyptian revolution.
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