Thursday, February 18, 2016 8:47 pm
Egyptian authorities have ordered the closure of a prominent local non-governmental organisation that documents alleged human rights abuses and treats torture victims, the NGO and security sources said.
Security sources and a lawyer for the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation for Victims of Violence and Torture said authorities agreed to hold off from closing it down until next week to allow more time to explain the reasons for the move.
Sources in the Health Ministry, which issues licenses for the Nadeem centre, said it had committed unspecified violations.
Nadeem centre director Aida Seif el-Dawla described the action as part of the toughest crackdown on dissent in Egypt’s modern history. “Unless they arrest us all, we will continue in our work as long as we remain out of prison,” she told Reuters.
“It would be stupid if they shut down the centre because we provide a service that no one else provides to the underprivileged.”
Amnesty International condemned the move against the Nadeem centre, saying the NGO gives a lifeline to hundreds of victims of torture and families of people subjected to enforced disappearances.
Human rights groups accuse President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government of widespread abuses, allegations it denies.