Egypt should stop crackdown on human rights groups

Egypt has seen the Arab spring closely, with the ousting of their longtime President Hosni. Even after the departure of Hosni Mubarak, the post-Mubarak regime of President Sisi keeps a close eye on human rights groups and cracks down on them without any second thought. As per Amnesty International, these have certainly increased in 2016.

In Egypt human rights defenders can be in prison for upto 25 years. The persecution of human rights has been going on, as many believe President Sisi also uses brutal tactics to suppress liberal voices. Egyptian authorities in recent weeks have questioned various human rights activists while banning them from travel and putting them in prisons. After the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian government cracked down on foreign institutions that may have been part of the toppling of his government. Five such international institutions have already been asked to close their offices. In June 2013, after the completion of the first phase of investigations, 43 Egyptians and foreign nationals were convicted and jailed for up to five years. Prosecutors in Egypt can upheld verdicts against activists who are not registered or take foreign funding without proper accountability. Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Nadim Khoury says that the government has already started their second phase and is not sparing any voice that speaks of freedom. Amnesty International, on the other hand, has asked Egyptian government to lift travel bans on human rights activities. They also asked the government to take back any gag orders, which do not permit media outlets to provide any analysis on such prosecutions unless there is a definite verdict. All these go against the fundamentals of freedom of speech and human rights.

Nazra for Feminist Studies organization’s founder and director Mozn Hassan was asked to appear as a defendant, and now has been asked to appear in the court on march 29. Mohamed Lotfy, a director at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms including four employees of the Egyptian Democratic Academy, have indefinite travel bans on them. Deputy director of Amnesty International’s the Middle East and North Africa Program, Boumedouha said that Egypt treats its civil society as an enemy of the state, rather than an arm of strength and progress.

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