United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced he is closely following the judicial proceedings in Egypt against a number of civil society organizations and human rights defenders.
Case number 173, commonly referred to as “the case on foreign funding of civil society”, is expected to resume on Wednesday in Cairo. In March, UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein expressed grave concern over the closure of hundreds of non-governmental organizations in Egypt and the prosecutions of numerous rights defenders for their legitimate work, urging the Government to end such repressive measures.
“Defendants in the case must be able to benefit from all due process and fair trial standards,” indicated a statement issued by Mr. Ban’s spokesperson.
The UN chief also underscored the important role that civil society plays in ensuring that States meet developmental, social and civic objectives and obligations. He stressed the need for human rights defenders and civil society in general, as well as the media, to work without undue restrictions.
“The Secretary-General notes that the Government of Egypt has accepted a number of recommendations under the second Universal Periodic Review cycle to promote and protect the rights to freedom of association, as well as to adopt a new non-governmental organization (NGO) law that is compliant with the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights,” the statement added.