The Egyptian government paves the way for Further restrictions imposed on the Civil Society
|Sunday, June 7,2009 01:55|
Civil Society Organizations signatory of this statement express their extreme uneasiness about the rumors constantly disseminated by the Ministry of Social Solidarity to the press about new amendments to the law regulating Egyptian NGOs while the organizations primarily concerned by this law are totally turned down from the whole process. Moreover, official authorities are ignoring any efforts developed by CSOs aiming at promoting a legislation compatible with the international standards of the freedom of association, such as the draft law developed by a group of NGOs that was widely adopted after months of debates and positive discussions including activists, parliamentarians with the participation of a representative of the Ministry of Social Solidarity especially invited to transmit the vision proposed by the Civil Society to the official authorities.
However, the Ministry is showing evident signs of carefree attitude reflected by a full blackout about the draft law proposed by NGOs and the announcement that a committee was established to draft the amendments adopted at the official level; it is worth mentioning that this committee does not include any representation of the Civil Society, especially human rights organizations.
The attitude of the Ministry and its attempts to pass on the law under the false pretext that its draft was developed through a participatory approach including NGOs while the entire process took place in a secret manner is totally unacceptable. Moreover, the Ministry is seeking to add legitimacy to its actions by involving the General Union of NGOs - which is a semi-governmental body – in the decisions related to the dissolution of Civil Society Organizations as it appears by the news released to the press lately.
Signatory NGOs confirm that the law won"t gain such legitimacy without an effective participation of all the concerned parties, including the inclusion of the draft law proposed by NGOs on the agenda of the discussion, as one of the alternatives to the present Law 84/2002.
Furthermore, if the Ministry of Social Solidarity perseveres in its attitude showing animosity towards the Civil Society, signatory organizations will take the necessary legal procedures in order to counteract any governmental attempts to consecrate the repression of NGOs" activities and grants the administration additional powers threatening the integrity of these organizations.
Signatory organizations :-