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Government denies threatening EOHR with dissolution

(EOHR/IFEX) - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) received a letter from the Ministry of Social Solidarity on 10 May 2009. The letter signed by Mrs. Aziza Youssef, head of the central administration for associations, stated that, "There are no such procedures issued to dissolve EOHR's board of trustees, since it is just a request to the data of implementing the project related to the grant received from The Center of Media Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa in Morocco. The goal of the administration is to inform EOHR to such usual procedures and the letter included a reference to article 42 of Law No. 84 2002, resulting in the conclusion that there is an attempt to dissolve the organization or take a legal action against it, and this did not happen."

Mr. Hafez Abu Seada, secretary-general of EOHR, confirmed that the crisis which has escalated recently between EOHR and the administration side reveals the need to stipulate quickly a new bill for non-governmental organisations (NGOs), replacing the current Law No. 84 of 2002. He calls on the Ministry of Social Solidarity to take into consideration the project prepared by EOHR and Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and other NGOs when drafting the final amendments for Law 84 before submitting them to the parliament.

The most important principles of this project are the following:

- limiting the intervention of the administrative bodies in the work of NGOs;
- encouraging NGOs to work effectively in the community;
- empowering NGOs to express about ideas and work freely;
- facilitating measures of establishment through notification.

It is noteworthy that the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights had received a letter from the Ministry of Social Solidarity warning EOHR of the possibility of dismantling the organization, stating that EOHR received foreign funding without authorization.

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