Human rights on trial in Egypt as NGO funding case revived

By REUTERS
March 27, 2016 11:47

 
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CAIRO- Egypt has launched a new crackdown on human rights groups, questioning staff and ordering asset freezes over accusations they took foreign funding to destabilize the country after the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

Egyptian rights activists say they are facing the worst assault in their history in a wider campaign to erase the freedoms won in the 18-day revolt that began on Jan. 25, 2011.

Some say they are working from home in anticipation of arrests as the noose tightens on non-governmental organizations that have faced growing pressure since the burst of activism that accompanied the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled autocrats from Tunisia to Yemen.

It is not clear how many groups will be investigated in the case that has so far affected staff or management from at least six of Egypt's best-known rights groups.

They include Hossam Bahgat, founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), and Gamal Eid, founder of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information.

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