Maat for Peace, Development, and Human Rights passed to parliament its vision regarding the anticipated non-governmental organisations (NGOs) law on Tuesday, which is should be discussed soon in parliament.
Civil society NGOs have been calling for an announcement of the law, in order to limit security crackdown on their members and to regulate their work.
The vision was a result of sessions conducted with NGO members working on assuring freedoms, as those are the ones facing most restrictions.
”We are providing a set of proposals that will help the state adopt new policies and legislations in accordance to its international obligation”, according to Maat’s statement.
The vision includes certain amendments for regulating foreign funding systems, such as suggesting the right of NGOs to receive the fund 30 days after notifying the administrative bodies.
Throughout the 30 days, the administrative bodies have the right to accept or reject the fund. In the case that they do not get back to the NGOs, the latter may receive the fund.
Regarding the establishment of NGOs, Maat recommended that NGOs can only be shut down by court order, which should cite legal violations. It also added that NGOs should have the right to collect donations without administrative permission.
Human rights lawyer and executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) Gamal Eid previously told Daily News Egypt that the new NGO law will be more stringent than previous laws due to the National Security’s interference.
In mid-September, the North Cairo Criminal Court froze Eid’s assets, along with another four NGO members, including renowned journalist Hossam Bahgat, head of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Bahey El-Din Hassan, Hisham Mubarak Law Centre director Mostafa Al-Hassan, and Egyptian Centre for the Right to Education director Abdel Hafiz Tayel.
In early October, the cabinet approved the NGO law at its weekly meeting. The draft law was then referred to the State Council for review, and forwarded to parliament for discussion.