Four alleged officials from the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), affiliated to the Ministry of Investment, attempted to inspect the Egyptian Commission for Freedom and Rights (ECFR) early on Thursday. According to the NGO’s statement, there were attempts to hinder the organisation’s work and force its closure.
The GAFI officials refused to provide any information about their identities, nor did they provide any legal documentation to prove the inspection order. Only one officer was present at the NGO at the time; the officials demanded that head of the ECFR be summoned, but only the lawyer attended.
The lawyer prevented them from inspecting the NGO without any legal documents. One of the officials warned of a possible closure of the ECFR, implying that he may be a police officer, according to organisation.
The ECRC will take all necessary legal procedures to understand the reasons for the inspection and the best course of action.
The NGO documents state violations in the field of human rights, and has openly opposed the state’s performance in certain issues.
Director of the ECRF Ahmed Abdullah was released two weeks ago after spending five months in prison on accusations of inciting people to violence, attempting to overthrow the government, establishing an outlawed group, and hindering the work of state institutions.
He was arrested from his home at dawn on 25 April amid sweeping security raids against political and human rights activists which were part of an attempt to foil any protests against the Red Sea islands deal that required transfer sovereignty of Tiran and Sanfir to Saudi.
El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence had received closure order In February from the Health Ministry. It was reported by the centre’s heads that the closure order was for political reasons, as El Nadeem has also been open about its work on documenting state violations in its monthly reports.
A number of NGOs have recently been targeted in the NGOs foreign funding case of 2011, including Nazra for Feminist Studies and staff members from the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, for allegedly receiving funds from the European Union and the United States. NGOs in Egypt have faced numerous restriction and obstacles hindering their work.