The Government challenges the Administrative Court’s ruling in favor of EOHR

August 14th, 2018 by Editor

The Government challenges the Administrative Court’s ruling in favor of EOHR

 The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) received an appeal from the State Lawsuits Authority of the court ruling in favor of EOHR’s right to receive a grant to develop civil society in Egypt.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights  previously received a grant to fund a project on reforming the legal framework of Egyptian NGOs from the Middle East Partnership Foundation (MEPI) and in May 2012 and the authorities refused to authorize the grant prompting EOHR to challenge the government’s decision at the administrative court.

The court in April 2018 ruled in favor of EOHR and ordered the competent authorities to allow EOHR to receive the grant.  The rejection of that grant would have prevented EOHR from developing its financial resources and from practicing one of its activities, thus restricting any  the right to association Which is guaranteed by the Constitution and reaffirmed by international human rights conventions and treaties, without the existence of a legitimate justification.

Now once again the government refuses to let it go and has appealed the court’s verdict. The reasons for the government’s appeal according to their view are that the purpose of the grant is outside the scope of EOHR’s work and that the Egyptian Constitution gave the House of Representatives the power to legislate, and it did issue law no. 70 of 2017 on civil society by that repealing law no. 84 of 2002.

The EOHR notes once again that the present NGO Law (No. 70 of 2017) contradicts the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution and  International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which guaranteed the right to freedom of association. Human Rights field aren’t among the activities regulated by the NGO law, which restricts the ability of Human Rights defenders and Organizations to function properly and freely. The provisions of this law are unacceptable and do not belong in a democratic society especially that Egyptian civil society has always been on the forefront of the struggle for basic rights and freedoms.

For his part, Dr. Hafez Abu Seada, the president of the EOHR, said that the appeal threatens freedom of opinion and expression as well as freedom of association. Abu Seada added that international standards for the establishment of associations and NGOs are based on two basic principles: First: the right to establish associations is granted to citizens without prior Conditions, and secondly: the principle of non-intervention by governments in the activities and affairs of Non Governmental Organizations.

Abu Seada concluded that the current civil society law (No. 70 of 2017) comes in total contradiction with Egypt’s international obligations before the International human rights instruments and organs, which leads to the violation of the provisions of Article 93 of the Constitution which binds the Egyptian state to the international human rights conventions it has ratified giving them the force of domestic law.

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