The State Council accepted an appeal by the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) contesting the constitutionality of the NGOs law, 84/2002, the centre announced in an official statement on Sunday.
The council approved the ECESR’s appeal Sunday of a few articles of the law. A final verdict will be issued in February 2016. The ECESR said it is currently preparing to present the appeal reasoning in front of the Supreme Constitutional Court in January 2016.
According to Kareem Ezzat, ECESR lawyer, the contested articles allow administrative entities to dissolve civil society organisations, which according the ECESR contradicts Article 75 of the 2014 Constitution, which places restrictions on dissolving or interfering in any affairs related to civil society organisations by any authority except for the judiciary.
The ECESR previously filed an appeal to the State Council against Articles 42, 43 of the law, and Articles 92 and 141 of its code of conduct.
The reasoning for the appeal dates back to the Giza governor’s decision to dissolve the 6 April Youth Movement in March.
The 6 April Youth Movement was banned in April 2014 by the Cairo Court for Urgent Matters on the grounds of espionage and destabilising Egypt’s image. Key figures from the movement remain behind bars, notably Ahmed Maher and Ahmed Douma, who were sentenced on the grounds of violating the Protest Law.
Meanwhile, Amr Ali, the movement’s founder, was arrested in September after he was forcibly disappeared from his home in Menufiya on charges from a previous trial.
Amid a sweeping crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters and other dissidents since 2013, the Egyptian government shut down 434 NGOs across all governorates by July, for allegedly belonging to the Brotherhood.
More NGOs have faced threats with the NGOs law, including the Al-Tahrir academy for educating children digitally, which was shut down in mid-August,
The NGO said it has been unable to raise donations successfully, but also singled out legislation surrounding NGOs as restrictive: “Egyptian law bans NGOs from any profitable commercial activities even if it is for covering their expenses; this prevented us from generating enough income for the organisation.”