11 December 2012

Egypt: Urgent Statement - Egypt Funds in Egypt Under Siege United Nations Democracy Fund As Model

press release

In addition to the raids against NGOs in Egypt and the deliberate marginalization and exclusion of all official bodies of the state sector, the Ministry of Social Affairs tries to execute human rights organizations in Egypt where the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists requested on May 7, 2012 from the Ministry of Social Affairs to approve on the Project of: Partners for Integrity in the Egyptian Public Sector, funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund and the Program tried to receive any reply from the Ministry of Social Affairs; an approval or rejection, but in vain, which led the funder to ask for the refund of the amount of the grant on last November because of the delay in starting the implementation of the agreed activities. Since that time, APHRA is struggling with the Social Affaires Department and the MoSA to approve on the refund without finding any convincing response or clear reason for the delay. They didn"t give clearance or refusal for the Grant, and they even didn"t allow APHRA to send the amount of the grant back to the UNDEF.

The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists condemns the negative and oppressive approach of the Ministry of Social Affairs, and its obvious intransigence in the proceedings of accepting the grant or sending back the advance to the donor. On the other side, the Ministry has frequently confirmed that they do not have the authority to approve or reject the grant without consulting with the security authorities and this interprets their delay until getting the response from the security with ignorance of the Law no. 84 of 2002 on NGOs.

Within this context, the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists stresses on the need to abolish the supervision of the Ministry of Social Affairs on the work of NGOs where its role -on ground- is to refer issues of

NGOs to security apparatus since the moment of their establishment till the dissolution of associations.

The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists emphasizes that the approach of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the security indicates there are sovereign orders to press on NGOs to stop their disclosure of violations that occur all over the country or to close through illegal prevention of finance which is contradicted with what has been stated in the constitutional declaration issued on March 30, 2011, and also in contradiction with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Defenders.

In the meantime, the Arab Program emphasizes APHRA will not surrender to this miserable reality and would use all peaceful and legal tools to defend the right of association and the presence of civic organizations as the sole guarantee for the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Egypt.

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