Egypt: rights group closes under regime pressure


The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), one of Egypt’s last independent human rights organizations, officially closed Jan. 10. ANHRI made the announcement in a statement posted to its website, citing government pressure as the reason for its closure.The group charged that in today’s Egypt there is an “absence of the bare minimum of the rule of law and respect for human rights.”

ANHRI was founded by a team of lawyers and activists in 2004 with a mission of defending freedom of expression and the press in Egypt and the Arab world. As part of its mission, ANHRI provided legal defense to victims of rights violations. The organization also documented violations against citizens, journalists, and political prisoners.

In its statement, ANHRI described political repression and expansion of arrests against human rights defenders, journalists and political activists as reasons for the organization’s closure. The statement was accompanied by a list of attacks that ANHRI members have suffered over recent years, including thefts, violent physical assaults, and illegal summonses.

ANHRI’s executive director, Gamal Eid, said: “We are suspending our institutional work and activities today, but we continue to be lawyers who have a conscience, and as individual, independent human rights defenders will work side by side with the few remaining independent human rights organizations, independent human rights defenders and the entire movement.”

ANHRI’s closure comes amid an increasingly severe crackdown on journalists and human rights organizations. In December 2021 Egypt ranked as one of the five worst jailers of journalists in a report issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The AP reached out to an Egypt government media officer for comment on the ANHRI’s statement. There was no response.

From Jurist, Jan. 11. Used with permission.

Image: Facebook via AlBawaba

  1. Egypt : former presidential candidate sentenced to 15 years

    An Egyptian emergency court on May 29 sentenced former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh to 15 years in prison for “spreading false news” and undermining state security. Aboul Fotouh along with several prominent figures from the banned Muslim Brotherhood organization were also accused of plotting to overthrow the state. (Jurist)

  2. Egypt: rights activists get prison on ‘terrorism’ charges

    The Egyptian Emergency State Security Criminal Court on March 5 sentenced 14 people, including rights activists, to prison terms ranging between five and 15 years on terrorism-related charges in a trial deplored by rights groups as unfair.

    The verdicts—the latest mass sentencings in Egypt—were reported by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), one of the country’s most prominent human rights groups. The suspects were arrested in 2018 as part of a wide-ranging crackdown by authorities on dissent. Several were members of the members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights & Freedoms (ECRF), another leading rights organization.

    Two activist lawyers—Ezzat Ghoniem of the ECRF and Mohamed Abu Horarira—were sentenced to 15 years each. They were convicted of joining and funding a terrorist group, which is government parlance for the Muslim Brotherhood. (AP, Jurist)