Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly discussed Saturday with Greece’s ambassador to Cairo, Michael-Christos Diamessis, measures to implement the Egyptian law for non governmental organisations (NGOs) on international NGOs in Egypt, according to state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA).
The government has been attempting to clarify and defend the recently enacted law in international meetings, after several foreign public figures, governments, and international rights-defending organisations condemned the recently enacted law.
Egypt’s permanent delegate to the United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG), Amr Ramadan, said on Thursday that statements made by other states condemning the law were “politicised,” stating that “the law had been adopted following lengthy consultations,” according to a UNOG press release.
During a UNOG debate, Ramadan further condemned the situation of human rights in states that had earlier expressed their criticism of the law, including the UK’s prime minister’s statement about defying human rights laws to fight terrorism and France’s oppression to demonstrations.
Meanwhile, the International Federation for Human Rights Leagues and World Organisation Against Torture expressed Friday in the UNOG debate their concerns regarding the NGOs Law, adding that the law threatened independent human rights groups in Egypt.
The law stipulates that the work of foreign NGOs reconcile with Egypt’s “development plans,” and prohibits any activities in the political field or affiliation with political parties, syndicates, or activities against national security of public order.
The law is comprised of 89 articles, 18 of which are concerned with regulating the work of international and foreign NGOs in Egypt.
Article 70 stipulates the establishment of a regulatory body titled the National Foreign NGOs Regulation Apparatus (NFNRA) to regulate activities of foreign NGOs in Egypt, including cooperation with governmental and non-governmental institutions in Egypt, as well as funding local Egyptian NGOs and civil society organisations.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ratified the new NGOs Law on May 30, six months after its approval in parliament, replacing Law no. 84 of 2002.
The law gives civil society organisations one year to comply with its provisions or face dissolution.
Hundreds of foreign workers in Egypt are required to work under the new law, which was approved despite facing criticism from civil society members, who believed that it would eliminate civil work under restrictive articles.