Egypt: Authorities force closure of prominent human rights organisation

Egypt: Authorities force closure of prominent human rights organisation - Media

ARTICLE 19 expresses its deep regret that the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is suspending its activities as of 22 January. We express full solidarity with the organisation’s managers and team, who have patiently and courageously faced violations, police intimidation and prosecutions since 2013 in connection with their activism and continued human rights battle.

The suspension of the ANHRI’s represents a great loss for human rights work in Egypt and the region. The ANHRI, which was founded in 2004, is considered to be one of the most active Egyptian associations working in defense of human rights. The organisation’s lawyers and researchers monitor and document violations and defend freedom of expression, freedom of the media, freedom of association, and the right to protest and demonstrate in Egypt and the Arab world. The ANHRI and ARTICLE 19 have worked in cooperation and partnership for many years.

The ANHRI issued a detailed statement1 that highlighting several grave and systematic violations committed by the Egyptian authorities against its members. This including preventing Mr. Gamal Eid, one of the network’s founders, from traveling since 2016, in addition to a violent assault on him and the theft of his car. They also attacked Ms. Rawda Ahmed, the organisation’s Deputy Director, subjecting her to judicial investigations because of her human rights work, and police officers smashed up her car in 2019.

Many employees and researchers for the ANHRI were also subjected to arrests and torture, and some of them are currently imprisoned. Others were forced to leave Egypt in fear of their physical and moral safety.

ARTICLE 19 hopes the ANHRI will be able to resume its work soon, as the human rights situation in the region requires a loyal and honest defender that has always refused to succumb to the tyranny of the  country’s successive governments, both before and after the January 2011 revolution.