Initially published in Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Thirty-six civil society groups released a statement on 24 August condemning the “smear campaign” being conducted against them by Egypt’s military rulers.
The statement comes as a response to a two-pronged attack on civil society by Egypt’s military rulers. State Security Prosecution will be launching an investigation into the sources of funding for civil society groups to see if they have violated laws that stipulate that all funding must be approved by the government, local media has reported. At the same time, there have been various statements from the military, political leaders, and local media in recent weeks attempting to discredit civil society.
“We denounce the continuation of the organized smear campaigns designed to impugn these groups’ patriotism, as well as ongoing attempts to intimidate civil society groups through investigations… by State Security Prosecution into complaints accusing unnamed NGOs and political groups of receiving foreign funds… in violation of the law,” the joint statement says.
The groups also sent a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, dated 22 August, to draw attention to the “organized campaign by the government of Egypt” against NGOs to pre-empt the actions of such organizations.
The groups contend in the letter that the accusations against them were a “direct response to the role played by Egyptian civil society, particularly human rights defenders, in exposing abuses committed by the [ruling] Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).” Read more…