Law makers and activists welcome the president’s call to revise the law on associations and formulate a committee to conduct a dialogue with the government and parliament.

November 15th, 2018 by Editor

Law makers and activists welcome the president’s call to revise the law on associations and formulate a committee to conduct a dialogue with the government and parliament.

According to the request made by The EOHR to interact with the president’s initiative regarding the law on associations, activists and representatives on behalf of these associations have agreed today the 15th of May, 2018 on the following statement:

Civil society representatives and human rights activists have welcomed the president’s initiative to revise the law on associations Article 70 for the year of 2017 and have made clear their utter disapproval of the associations law number 70 for the year of 2017 that’s pertinent to the preparation of finalizing actions that associations and other NGOs have demanded from the president and parliament to deregulate such a law and have it be replaced with an alternative law that would allow for a  national dialogue around the law on associations so that all associations and  the government can agree on a  law in order to avoid recurring controversies such as law 70 for the year of 2017.

Interested participants have stressed that dialogue is necessary in order to safeguard the new law from the negative implications of the old law, which Doctor Hafez Abu Seada, president of The EOHR has concluded, “That the votes on the law came in violation to the methods of voting specified by the House of Representatives’ internal regulations in Article 320 where voting wasn’t electronically carried out in spite of the high cost the state has spent to modernize the system of voting within the parliament. Also that it hadn’t considered the second method of voting according to Article 324 of the council’s internal regulations, and that it also didn’t comply with Article 325’s provisions where the right procedure of taking opinions by name despite the fact that a written request of more than 30 members was important, was vital so that the end-results of voting need to be achieved.

 

The participants have pointed out that the law on associations contradicts texts from the Egyptian constitution which guarantees the right to organize, which as mentioned in Article 75 states that “Citizens have the right to form civil associations and institutions on the basis of democracy, and that they have legal recognition upon action, and may exercise such activities freely, and that no administrative authority is to interfere in their affair, or can dissolve their councils except by judicial law.

It’s prohibited that any secret activities or those of military and paramilitary nature be established by associations or civil society institutions, and that they be regarded by law”. All associations are to  comply to the rights and freedoms of citizens which the constitution has made clear in Article 92 and states that “Rights and freedoms related to the citizen doesn’t are not to be depreciated, and that no law is to regulate rights and freedoms exercised in ways that would restrict them from their own origin and substance”.

NGOs have  stressed the need that the law complies with Egypt’s international obligations including the International conduct for Human Rights which contradicts Article 93 of the constitution, and obliges the state to agreements and conventions on human rights that Egypt has ratified, and so has become a force of power.

it is vital that NGOs and associations find solutions that would enable associations under the New law to finance their own projects, but also ensure the state’s right of  surveillance and accountability so as to maintain national security.

At the end of the dialogue, participants affirmed that adherence to the basic principles that govern civil society movements in accordance with international and constitutional laws, are necessary for a functioning civil society.

It’s the right for every normal and moral person to participate in the establishment, administration, association and withdraw from any association.

It is prohibited that restrictions be placed on exercising such a right unless stated by the law.

It’s important for non-governmental organizations to establish a system of notifications instead of one that requires licensing.

NGOs should be allowed to receive donations through notification systems instead of pre-authorization systems with the actions of subsequent monitoring through the principle of social solidarity.

The increasing role of civil society institutions in decision making as well as establishing partnerships between them and the state, should start from their ability to draft laws that govern their movement, and have them participate in decision making.

Discussing the philosophy of law governing the civil society and the public work is to be based on two main ideas: the first is to ensure the independence of the civil society with the right of the state in surveillance and accountability. The second is that enabling NGOs to express their ideas and participate in the drafting of a law that would help them work freely removing legal, administrative and financial obstacles that face their work.

it is important that investigations on activists in case number 703 for the year of 2011, known in the media as the issue of foreign funding, be put to an end.

Needless to say that Interest in the work of international organizations in Egypt is to improve its image to the outside world and positively impact foreign investments, especially to increase and improve development plans such as those for the year 2030.

Participating organizations:

  • The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
  • The Arab Organization for Human Rights.
  • The Sadat Association for Development and Social Welfare.
  • United Group.
  • The Egyptian Women’s Union.
  • Al Mahrousa Center.
  • House of Labor and Trade union services.
  • National Center for Supporting NGOs.
  • Al – Haq Center for Democracy and Human Rights.
  • Women Development Forum.
  • Egypt Scientists’ council.
  • Foot Association for Community Development.
  • Forum of dialogue.
  • Egyptian Association for Scientific Development.
  • Egyptian Society for Community Participation Promotion.
  • Egyptian Democratic Institute.
  • Egypt Democracy Association.

 

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