By The Genocide Report
United Nations experts are looking into efforts by the Egyptian Government to crackdown on non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as restrict the travel of staff to prevent investigations into human rights violations in the country, including the use of torture.
The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies which has been investigating torture in Cairo was forcibly shut-down and the staff was interrogated and threatened with arrest and prosecution. Similarly, the staff of the non-government organization Nazra for Feminist Studies was subjected to interrogation and threatened with arrest and prosecution. Egyptian authorities have threatened charges of “working without registration” and “receiving foreign funds for illegal purposes”, both of which are punishable by fines and life imprisonment.
On April 5, 2016, the Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, which has published reports on torture, was forcibly closed by the Egyptian Government and issued charges for resisting. In recent months, there has been a backlash of ridicule against Egyptian security forces for the torture and death of Italian student Giulio Regeni in February 2016. Although Cairo has repeatedly denied the charge, there has been a global public outcry for those responsible to be held accountable and brought to justice.
The presidency of al-Sisi occurred after the 2013 coup which ousted Mohamed Mursi, a Muslim Brotherhood member who was democratically elected after Egyptians revolted against Hosni Mubarak and his 30 years as dictator, during the Arab Spring uprising in February 2011. United Nations expert Michel Forst said “Egypt is failing to provide a safe and enabling environment for civil society in the country.”
The efforts by the al-Sisi regime to quash reports of torture and its other human rights violations lend credibility to the complaints. If the allegations of abuse are not true, then why is there a crackdown on non-government organizations?
Featured Image: Egyptian government threatens to shut down prominent anti-torture human rights NGO. Photo: Reuters