Press release

Minister for North Africa statement on human rights organisations in Egypt

FCO Minister Tobias Ellwood deeply concerned by Egyptian court decision to freeze assets of several human rights defenders and their organisations as part of the Foreign Funding Case (Case 173/2011).

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Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood, said:

I am deeply concerned by the Egyptian court decision to freeze the assets of several prominent human rights defenders and their organisations on 11 January, including Nazra for Feminist Studies and its Director Mozn Hassan. This follows several other asset freezes and travel bans against human rights organisations and their staff as part of the Foreign Funding Case.

A strong civil society is vital to Egypt’s long term stability and economic development. Restrictions and sanctions on civil society organisations take Egypt further away from implementing the freedoms set out in the 2014 Constitution. The impact of this decision on the work of those striving to protect women’s rights in Egypt is particularly troubling.

I encourage Egypt to lift restrictions on civil society organisations, and allow them to operate freely in line with the Constitution.

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Published 13 January 2017