The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Freeze of EOHR activities and activists
3 December 1998Statement issued following the emergency meeting of the EOHR Board of Trustees In protest against the fierce campaign against the EOHR and its secretary general On Wednesday 2 December 1998, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) Board of Trustees held an urgent meeting to discuss the EOHR stance towards the campaign launched against the organization, its officials, staff members and secretary general, Hafez Abu Seada. After a thorough discussion, the Board reasserted what it said in its 26 November 1998 meeting that there is absolutely no relation between the check for US$ 25,703 issued by the British Embassy and the activities carried out by the organization in documenting human rights violations in Al-Kosheh village, Sohag. The Board asserted also that there are no suspicions of any legal irregularities that would permit subjecting the organization's secretary general, Hafez Abu Se'da, its officials or staff members to any form of legal accountability. In the light of these facts, the Board believes that the case against the EOHR and its secretary general is one of opinion related to the activities it has been carrying out since its establishment in 1985 in monitoring human rights violations and bringing attention to them, activities which have been inspired by the unchangeable values of the Egyptian culture and internationally recognized human rights standards. The Board was informed of the proceedings of the interrogations with Hafez Abu Se'da, who clarified to the interrogator the circumstances of the case and explained that the EOHR has all the documents to prove the soundness of its stance and that his innocence in/of the charges brought against him. At the meeting, sister human rights organizations expressed to the Board their solidarity as well as their grave concern for the unjustifiable campaign faced by the EOHR, a campaign aimed to abort its activities in protecting human rights and disclosing the violations. The Board asserted its strong appreciation of the stance of all these organizations. After discussing the fierce campaign faced by the EOHR, its officials, staff members, and secretary general, and based on what transpired to the Board in light of the decisions it made on its 26 November 1998 meeting, it was concluded that this campaign aims to terrify the EOHR and eradicate its role in defending human rights and disclosing - impartially and faithfully - violations that were reported by all. And after the Board discussed what is perceived by every body, i.e. that the circumstances are not suitable for freedom and democracy to thrive, for rights and freedoms to be exercised, and to be able to do productive work in human rights, in light of all the above, the Board decided the following: To freeze the EOHR activities and its activists all over the country; and to call for a general assembly, to be convened after no more than three months, that will discuss and reconsider this decision. The Board of Trustees however states that this freeze will not stop its continuous work to face the current crisis and take whatever procedures it believes appropriate, and that it will be considered in a state of permanent meeting for this purpose, asserting at the same time that EOHR's internal and external relations will continue.
Other EOHR Press Releases
EOHR || Human Rights in Egypt