Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the closure of the Nadeem Center in Cairo

Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Bauml;rbelKofler issued the following statement today (10February) regarding the closure of the NadeemCenter inCairo:

The ever greater curtailment of civil society engagement inEgypt fills me with great concern. The closure on 9February of the NadeemCenter, which provided medical assistance for victims of torture and domestic violence, is part of this pattern.

Lasting stability cannot be achieved without a free civil society and respect for human rights. Icall on the EgyptianGovernment to reopen ElNadeem and to create conditions in which human rights groups can do their work unhindered� work that is important for thecountry.rdquo;

Background information:

Premises of the NadeemCenter for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence inCairo were sealed by the authorities on 9February. The NadeemCenter is an independent EgyptianNGO which campaigns against torture and provides medical assistance for torture victims and victims of physical violence.

Human rights activists and organisations inEgypt are currently being subjected to an unprecedented level of investigation. In2016, the bank accounts of organisations such as the NadeemCenter, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the ArabicNetwork for Human Rights Information, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies and the NGONazra for Feminist Studies were frozen. Known activists like GamalEid and HossamBahgat were banned from leaving the country, and their bank accounts were likewise frozen.

The Egyptian anti-terror law provides for harsh penalties, including life imprisonment, for acts that harm national interests or endanger social peace or the independence or unity ofEgyptrdquo; and lays down strict conditions for NGOs'work in the international sphere and for accepting funding from abroad.

Source: Germany - Federal Foreign Office.