Egypt: Prominent human rights organization pioneered by WHRDs faces threat of closure

Press release

El Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence and Torture is a prominent human rights organization which, since 1993, is providing support to torture victims and families of those who were subject to enforced disappearances in Egypt. Since 17th of February authorities in Egypt delivered a closure order based on “breaching license conditions” andhave launched a smear campaign against the organization which has supported thousands of individuals and family members confronting immeasurably traumatic experiences.

On 17th of February 2016, three men, an architect and two policemen, entered the premises of El Nadeem Center and unduly and arbitrarily requested from Dr. Mona Hamed, an Egyptian WHRD and the Director of the Clinic, to leave the office. The lawyers negotiated the closure order and have extended it until 22 February 2016 to investigate the allegations brought against El Nadeem Center and provide justifications to the Ministry of Health.

The authorities in Egypt further escalated the aggression towards the organization via disseminating misleading information in an attempt to libel their meaningful contributions to the advancement of human rights in Egypt for more than two decades. On 24th of February 2016 the Ministry of Health released a statement discrediting the organization, which was published in Shorouk newspaper as well as in English on the Facebook page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). El Nadeem responded to all false accusations via an announcement.

El Nadeem Center has not only supported victims of torture and families of those who were subject to enforced disappearances. The center is at the heart of the women’s rights struggle in Egypt and is critical to fostering women’s rights in Egypt and the wider region. The center was instrumental in drafting a law to prevent and protect women from domestic violence and have been advocating for its acceptance by the Parliament. El Nadeem has also issued important publications on sexual violence in Egypt in an attempt to raise awareness on gender-based violence in the country.

The WHRD Mena Coalition has warned that the closure threat brought against the Center has wider implications for WHRDs in the region. The Coalition has stressed that “As El Nadeem center is mostly run by pioneering WHRDs of Egypt who have been on the frontline of pushing the gender agenda in the country, they have inspired their fellow activists in the region. The closure of the center will certainly send a message to the women rights movement in the region of potential implications they might face by their government if they continue their committed advocacy.”

The WHRDIC strongly urges the government of Egypt to cease all acts of harassment against the El Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence and Torture. The WHRD-IC stands in solidarity with women human rights defenders in Egypt and the wider region, who continue their meaningful human rights advocacy at the face of such gruesome threats and restrictions.http://www.defendingwomen-defending...

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  • Co-signatories

    The Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition is a resource and advocacy network supporting women human rights defenders worldwide. We have 32 members including:

    Amnesty International (AI)

    Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
    Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM ASIA)
    The Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)
    Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
    BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights (BAOBAB)
    Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR)

    Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL)

    Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL)
    Frida the Young Feminist Fund

    Front Line Defenders

    Human Rights First
Information Monitor (INFORM)

    International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
    International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

    International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW-AP)
    Isis International
ISIS Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (ISIS-WICCE)

    Just Associates (JASS)

    The Latin American and Caribbean Committee for the Defense of Women’s Rights (CLADEM)

    Nazra for Feminist Studies
    Nobel Women’s Initiative (NWI)

    Peace Brigades International
Rainbow Rights Project (R-Rights)
Society for Appraisal & Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA)

    Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights (UAF)

    Women Living under Muslim Laws (WLUML)

    Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights
Women’s Initiatives for Gender Justice (WIGJ)

    Women’s Rehabilitation Centre (WOREC)

    World Organisation against Torture (OMCT)

  • Member organisations - Egypt
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