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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

A new setback for civil society

Security refuses the registration of the EOHR

The EOHR is extremely alarmed by the decision of the Ministry of Social Affairs no. 5804 issued on Sunday 30/7/2000 to postpone the registration of the EOHR as an NGO because of the refusal of security entities. The decision did not specify which security entities are blocking the procedures for registering the organization, their reasons for the decision, the procedures the EOHR has failed to complete and the time frame for postponement.

The EOHR regrets that this decision comes four days after being notified verbally by the undersecretary of the Ministry for Social Affairs on the 26/7/2000 that the EOHR has been accepted as an NGO and registered under the number 461 year 2000.

This shocking decision is a setback for the victory of the NGO=92s that came with the ruling of the Constitutional Court that has nullified the NGO law no. 153 year 1999. The ruling had stated that the right to set up and join organizations is a constitutional and natural right that forms one of the most important pillars of a democratic society, the prevalence of the rule of law and a state of institutions. It also stated that the law 153 confiscates the right to establish NGOs and entrenches the hegemony and custodianship of the executive estate and the security apparatus on the activities of NGO=92s in violation of the Egyptian constitution and the international covenants of human rights ratified by the Egyptian government.

As much as this decision comes as a shock for the EOHR it is a clear indicator on the government=92s direction and its insistence on confiscating the role of civil society and setting restrictions on human rights activists, the matter which contradicts with the official discourse about the respect for human rights and freedom for civil society institutions.

The EOHR has invited its board for an emergency meeting to be held on 3/8/2000 to discuss this descion and its repercussions on the legal status of the organization and its activities. However the EOHR insists on the continuation of its role in monitoring and investigating human rights violations and to stand up in defense of civil liberties and to fight for the prevalence of the rule of law and the establishment of a state of institutions.

The EOHR is indignant by this decision and invites the forces of civil society to unite against this vicious attack against the existence of the NGO sector described by the Constitutional Court in its recent ruling as the moderator of the social contract between the individual and the state, that is capable elevating the individual as the basis in building a society and the mobilization of collective and individual efforts to forward development and guarantee transparency of public funds. This way accountability and justice can be achieved and responsibility can be defined and the active forces of society harmonize for its betterment.

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR)
E-mail eohr@link.com.eg
Tel+20-(2)-3636811 +20-(2)-3620467
Fax +20-(2)-3621613

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This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights. Derechos works against violations to human rights and humanitarian law all over the world.