The Egyptian Organization in an event in Geneva on the “NGOs law in Egypt”, Abu Saeda: The NGOs Law contravenes with Egypt’s international obligations

March 11th, 2019 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization in an event in Geneva on the “NGOs law in Egypt”, Abu Saeda: The NGOs Law contravenes with Egypt’s international obligations

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), in partnership with the National Council for Human Rights and the Arab Organization for Human Rights, held an event on Monday, March 11, 2019, on the “NGOs Law in Egypt” at the UN Palace in Geneva. The event was held on the sidelines of the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.


The event was attended by representatives of Egyptian, Arab and international civil society organizations, government delegations and representatives of competent UN organizations. The participants have witnessed the presentations made by Prof. Mohamed Fayek, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Alaa Shalabi, President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights, Mohsen Awad, former Secretary General of the Arab Organization for Human Rights and member of the National Council for Human Rights and Dr. Hafez Abu Saeda, President of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and member of the National Council for Human Rights.
For his part, Dr. Hafez Abu Saeda, the organization’s president, said that the NGO Law No. 70 of 2017 contradicts in detail with the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution which guaranteed the right to organize as well as the international conventions and covenants on human rights, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The law contradicts with Egypt’s international obligations, including the International Human Rights Council, which means that it contradicts with article 93 of the Constitution, which obliges the state to abide by international human rights conventions, covenants, and charters, that were ratified by Egypt and become the force of the law after publication in accordance with the prescribed conditions.
He pointed out that the committee was formed following the invitation of the Egyptian Organization to interact with the initiative of the President of the Republic regarding the NGO’s Law. The committee finished the amendment of the law as follows:
First: the abolition of articles 70 to 77, which are the articles concerning the National authority for regulating the work of the organizations in addition to the three articles on penalties.
Second: Sufficiency with sanctions such as dissolving the board of directors and associations by judicial rulings.
The essence of the amendments was focused on 33 articles, in order to conform to the text of article 75 of the Constitution as well as the report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to organize.
Moreover, Abu saeda added that the draft amendment to the NGO’s Law set acceptable controls on domestic and foreign funding in addition to the abolition of penalties for freedoms and non-interference in administrative affairs of NGOs.
He pointed out that the NGO’s Law No. 70 of 2017, in article 14, prohibits political, party and union activity for NGOs. However, it should be noted that the political activity is wider than the party activity, Furthermore, The law also stipulates in Article (72) to establish a national system to regulate the work of foreign NGO’s. The committee should be limited to three parties: the Ministry of Solidarity, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Central Bank. The committee is competent to authorize and decide on requests for renewal or to amend or cancel it which considered being a restriction on freedom to establish associations in violation of Article 75 of the Constitution, which stipulates that the establishment of associations shall be notified.
The participants stressed that the law violates the Egyptian government’s commitments to the International Human Rights Council in 2014 that includes reforming the civil society situation in Egypt.
The participants also called for the enactment of an alternative legislation to the NGO’s Law No. 70 of 2017 that aims to strengthen civil work in Egypt and guarantee the right to freedom of association as soon as possible in accordance with the Egyptian Constitution and international conventions for human rights as well as the obligations of the Egyptian government to the International Human Rights Council.

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