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NSF accuses Brotherhood of attempting to repress civil society through NGO law

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The opposition front claims the Muslim Brotherhood is attempting to prevent investigations into human rights abuses under Morsi’s presidency

The NSF held a meeting on Tuesday and published a statement which reiterated the demands of the bloc and stated that it would not participate in elections unless these demands are addressed. (File Photo) (AFP - Photo)

The National Salvation Front (NSF) has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of attempting to push through the draft law governing civil society organisations, in an attempt to prevent organisations from investigating human rights abuses under President Mohamed Morsi.
(AFP File Photo)

The National Salvation Front (NSF) has accused the Muslim Brotherhood of attempting to push through the draft law governing civil society organisations, in an attempt to prevent organisations from investigating human rights abuses under President Mohamed Morsi.

In a statement published on Saturday, the NSF stressed its outright rejection of the current draft of the NGO law, which has been criticised both domestically and internationally.

The front said the Brotherhood has been trying to push the law through and that the “main goal [of the law] is to stop human rights organisations from pursuing officials for human rights abuses under President Morsi and his security apparatuses”.

The NSF believes that the draft law is an “attempt to silence any free voice opposing policies that aimed at the impoverishment of society and the denial of rights”. The front said the law is “concurrent with attacks on journalists and media professionals… and activists and opponents of President Morsi’s policies”.

Mokhtar Al-Ashri, head of the legal committee for the Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, said: “The NSF does not understand the law and didn’t read it.” He described the NSF statement as “intentional systematic lying”. Al-Ashri said that compared to the old NGO law, the new law “frees them (NGOs) of restrictions”.

The NGO law has been criticised by the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights as well as a number of international organisations including Freedom House, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, Amnesty International and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. All believe that the law will restrict the activities of civil society organizations in Egypt.

Ahmed Fahmy, speaker of the Shura Council, said earlier in May that the fears surrounding the law are unfounded and the law will not threaten Egyptian organisations.

 

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Joel Gulhane

News Reporter

Joel Gulhane is a journalist with an interest in Egyptian and regional politics. Follow him on Twitter @jgulhane


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