NPWJ condemns security forces raids on human rights defenders in Egypt

Brussels-Rome, 30 December 2011


 
 
 
On 29 December 2011, Egyptian prosecutors and police raided the offices of 17 local and international pro-democracy and human rights NGOs, temporarily detaining employees and searching computer files, as part of an investigation vowed by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) into foreign funding of such groups in violation of Egyptian laws.
Among groups targeted were the local offices of the U.S.-based International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Freedom House, as well as the German-based Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
 
Statement by Niccoló Figa-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:
 
“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) call on the Egyptian political and judicial authorities to end immediately the campaign of harassment, intimidation and restrictions against human rights defenders. These recent actions are in violation of Egypt's international commitments under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
 
“The crackdown on human rights organisations whose purpose is to support the transition of Egypt toward an open and democratic State is a major setback and recalls similar campaigns carried out during the previous dictatorial regime. By curtailing fundamental human rights, such as freedom of association, the Egyptian interim authorities are blatantly contradicting  the impetus of the revolution. Far from laying the groundwork for a future based on democratic values, the rule of law and the promotion and protection of human rights, they are instead looking down the same path as the previous regime.
 
“Since the revolution began, civil society – restricted almost out of existence under the previous regime, unless they were linked to the government – has flourished. Civil society groups are proving to be a driving force in this transitional process, by mobilising people and promoting their participation in public life, which is a critical part of empowering people to understand and embrace democracy.
 
“It is only by fully accepting and championing the values and principles of democracy and supporting those brave men and woman who, in the name of those same principles faced Mubarak’s torturers and carried out the Spring Revolution, that the Egyptian interim authorities can keep the flame of the Revolution alight and ensure that liberal institutions and democracy thrive as the home-grown aspirations they are”.
 
 
 
For further information, please contact: Gianluca Eramo, email: geramo@npwj.org, phone: + +1 212 9802558 or Nicola Giovannini on ngiovannini@npwj.org or +32 2 548 39 15.