Human Rights Watch (HRW) raised concern over the possible closure of local NGO El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, demanding that the Egyptian authorities revoke the administrative order to shut it down.
In its Thursday report, the watchdog said that last Wednesday the centre received a warrant “from Cairo governorate authorities stating that the center had violated the terms of its license but providing no details”.
The organisation, which is much criticised by pro-government forces, said: “Egyptian security forces, particularly the Interior Ministry’s National Security Agency, regularly torture people in custody and over the past year have forcibly disappeared scores of Egyptians, sometimes for months at a time.”
Speaking to Daily News Egypt at the time, El Nadeem Director Aida Seif El-Dawla confirmed an order from the Health Ministry and the Azbakiya district, noting that the authorities were prepared to shut down the office for purported violations. She said the ministry will be approached in an attempt to rectify their status with regards to the purported violations.
A number of NGOs and civil society organisations have suffered under a widening crackdown, particularly following amendments to a 2002 bill governing the operations of such organisations.
“It’s unconscionable for Egyptian authorities to shut down a clinic for torture victims, especially when Interior Ministry agents are committing rampant abuse of people in custody,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of HRW. “The Egyptian government should immediately revoke its closure of the Nadeem Center.”