Egyptian government 'increases human rights violations' under Trump

Egyptian government 'increases human rights violations' under Trump
2 min read
14 February, 2017
Prosecutors in Egypt 'issued summons' for a number of human rights organisations over the course of two weeks 'to question them on their financial activities.'
Sisi's government is notorious for his crackdown on civil and media organisations [Getty]

In its latest clampdown on civil society, the Egyptian regime has launched a new crackdown on civil organisations by prosecuting human rights organisations under the guise of fraud and money laundering.

Egyptian judicial sources told The New Arab that prosecutors in Egypt issued summons for a number of human rights organisations over the course of two weeks to question them on their financial activities.

They were scrutinised based on a joint report compiled by the Egyptian Finance Ministry, the Tax Office, Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Unit of Anti-Money Laundering.

The report accuses more than 20 human rights organisations of tax evasions and money laundering. The source told The New Arab that the defendants were denied being taken to the Judicial Investigation Commission, raising further questions on the credibility of the report. It also puts the defendants at greater risk of being unjustly prosecuted.

The source then confirmed that the Egyptian government is carrying out the prosecutions because "it feels more comfortable to do so with the new Trump administration."

Read also: Police state Egypt: NGOs under attack

Despite the fact that the Obama administration recognised Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's government, it occasionally condemned and scrutinised his policies.

The government in Cairo, under the Trump administration, "now feels it has more leverage with its crackdown on human rights, because it won’t face as much scrutiny," the source said.

Sisi is notorious for his crackdown on civil and media organisations. Social activists and journalists are routinely detained by authorities and headquarters that are deemed to be critical of the government are shut down.

Months after Sisi orchestrated his coup against Egypt’s first democratically elected government, he launched a crackdown on human rights organisations in Egypt and froze the financial assets of NGOs, including many affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, who were outlawed in Egypt in September 2013.