Egypt’s NGO Law ‘Hostile’ to Civic Groups

The new law contradicts to the right of freedom of association

With the recent law drafted by the Egyptian presidency for regulating non-governmental organizations, the United States of America expressed concern by saying that draft law still imposes significant government controls and restrictions on the activities and funding of civic groups.

Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi submitted the new civil society draft law to the Shura Council this week.

President Morsi asserted that the new law would liberate a civil society that was stifled by former leader Mubarak, a former leader who was ousted by the prominent democratic uprising in 2011.

The new law contradicts to the right of freedom of association

But contrary to what the Egyptian administration saying about the drafted NGO law, the United States of America says the new law appears contrary to the right of freedom of association enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a party.

In a press statement issued by US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki in Washington DC, the United States believes the proposed law is likely to impede Egyptians’ ability to form civic groups that are critical to advancing freedoms, supporting democracy, and acting as appropriate checks on the government.

As the Shura Council reviews the draft legislation, the US urges further consultations with civil society and revisions to ensure the law respects universal human rights, empowers civil society to play its legitimate role, and responds to the Egyptian people’s aspirations for democracy as guaranteed specifically in Egypt’s new constitution.

In May 2012, with the hope of regaining the country’s stability after the revolution, Egyptians headed to the polls to cast their ballots in the country’s first free vote for a leader in 5,000 years of history.

Around 50 million eligible Egyptian voters were called to choose 13 candidates.

Earlier in 2012, President Obama proposed a $1 billion cancellation of Egyptian debt to support Egypt’s economic recovery.

Egypt has made progress on human rights since the revolution that toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak.

Long-standing regimes were toppled by a wave of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed much of North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, particularly in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.