Egypt orders top human rights organization closed
Egyptian authorities have ordered the closure of a prominent human rights organization that documents cases of rights abuses and complaints of torture by police in the North African country.
Aida Seif el-Dawla, a founder of the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, said two policemen turned up at the center Wednesday with an order from the Health Ministry to close it.
“The decision did not give any reasons. We managed to persuade them to postpone the closure until we went to the Health Ministry next Monday to understand the reasons,” she said.
Dawla described the order as part of the incumbent administration’s tough crackdown on political dissent in Egypt.
“Unless they arrest us all, we will continue in our work as long as we remain out of prison,” she said. “It would be stupid if they shut down the center because we provide a service that no one else provides to the underprivileged.”
Amnesty International denounced the closure order, saying the center offers a lifeline to hundreds of torture victims as well as the families of the people subjected to enforced disappearances.
“This looks to us like a barefaced attempt to shut down an organization which has been a bastion for human rights and a thorn in the side of the authorities for more than 20 years,” Said Boumedouha, Amnesty’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.