Egyptian human rights organization shuts down, citing government persecution

One of Egypt’s last independent human rights organizations said in a statement that it had been closed on the grounds of government persecution

Cairo-The organization issued a statement on Monday saying that Egypt’s last independent human rights organization has been closed, citing government persecution.

Over the years, the Egyptian government has carried out extensive suppression of dissidents, which has killed many civil society groups in the country and imprisoned thousands of people.

The Arab Human Rights Information Network is an Egyptian organization founded in 2004 by a group of lawyers and activists. It documents violations of citizens, journalists, and political prisoners in Egypt and the region. It is also accompanied by increasing intimidation and attacks by the government against human rights workers and others.

But executive director Gamal Eid said in a statement that laws that made many ANHRI activities illegal have forced the organization to shut down. He said that workers of the organization have been arrested, intimidated and beaten by security forces.

He wrote: “We will continue to be conscientious lawyers, as individuals and independent human rights defenders, and will work side by side with the few remaining independent human rights organizations, independent human rights defenders, and the entire call for democracy.”

Government media officials did not respond to requests for comment on the organization’s statement.

Many of those imprisoned in recent years are Islamists, but they also include secular activists who participated in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising, which overthrew the country’s long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak.

As a lawyer, Eid al-Fitr represents some of the most famous secular detainees. The court ordered the freezing of his assets and banned him from travelling in 2016.

Since coming to power in 2013, President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has supervised the repression after the uprising and declared the Muslim Brotherhood an illegal organization and classified it as a terrorist organization. According to data from the non-profit organization Committee to Protect Journalists, the country, along with Turkey and China, is listed as one of the most severely detained journalists in the world.