Egypt ; Civil Society Still Under Siege – State Security Refuses to Declare “One Homeland for Development and Freedoms” Association
|Sunday, September 5,2010 00:39|
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information denounced today the continued police interference and limitation of the citizens’ rights to organize and form associations as a part of freedom of expression in contrary to the constitution and the international treaties that Egypt has signed. The ministry of social solidarity refused , a few days ago, register and declare ” One Homeland for Development and Freedoms” association despite of submitting all necessary documents three months ago due to the refusal of state security department to form the association.
This violation comes in a series of continued wide range restriction policies embraced by the Egyptian government against rights activists and independents organizations specifically with the forthcoming public and presidential elections, in an attempt to control the civil society in Egypt.
Although there is no article in the associations bill that stipulates security consent to license civil associations , yet the ministry of social solidarity gave full control to state security disregarding the law such that state security became the competent body that controls civil society affairs such as licensing , accepting memberships , accepting or refusing funding and interfering in associations activities.
In this context, the police refusal to register and declare “One Homeland for Development and Freedoms” association is an element in a long chain of coarse interferences and restrictions against the civil society organizations especially independent ones. The Association for Human Rights Legal Assistance ,AHRLA, is facing severe restrictions that may lead to terminating its activities as well as the New Woman Foundation. The Arabic Network and Hisham Mubarak Law Center are facing criminal trial on a fabricated case driven by state security.
The Arabic Network asserts its principle stance of refusing the police interference of state security in Egyptian independent associations and organizations affairs. State Security has to stop continued harassments of human rights defenders ,has to allow registering and declaring of civil society organizations like One Homeland for Development and Freedoms and should not encroach on citizens’ right to express and organize.