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Egypt to amend controversial NGO law

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in Cairo, Egypt on 5 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in Cairo, Egypt on 5 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egypt is planning to amend its controversial civil society law, ratified by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi about a year and a half ago.

The Egyptian cabinet said in a statement yesterday that in November the Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali chaired the first meeting of a committee tasked with developing a comprehensive vision to amend the NGO law.

According to the statement, the committee members discussed the organisation’s work mechanisms and a timetable to develop the required amendments as well as drafting a comprehensive vision to amend the law after holding talks with public figures, experts and active NGOs.

The committee members have also agreed to learn about international experiences in enacting laws that regulate the work of NGOs, it added.

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The committee members agreed to hold community dialogue involving about 1,000 national associations on the law, as well as to organise a dialogue with the international organisations authorised to work in Egypt, Wali said.

In May 2017, Al-Sisi ratified the NGO Law after its final approval by the Parliament in November 2016. However, the law has been widely criticised by local and international human rights organisations who described it as a new way to “curb” the work of civil society organisations in the country.

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