Why Is Egypt’s Last Independent Human Rights Group Calling it a Day?

Published January 11th, 2022 - 08:57 GMT
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information was founded in Cairo, Egypt in 2003. (Facebook)

After 18 years of actively leading human rights groups in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information has announced closing its doors permanently "due to "increasing harassment by Egyptian authorities."

In a statement published on their website and shared across social media platforms, Egypt's last independent human rights group has explained the reasons behind its inability to continue working any further, which has inspired the decision to shut down completely, after years of resisting government pressure and intimidation.

The ANHRI statement highlighted the new NGO and civil organizations law as the main obstacle making it difficult for the organization to work legally in Egypt.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information was founded in Cairo in 2003 and has since helped publish countless human rights reports produced by hundreds of organizations in Egypt and the region.

The organization is headed by Egyptian lawyer and human rights activist Gamal Eid who has been personally reporting numerous acts of harassment by local authorities, including a 2019 attack at his house, where he was beaten up and splashed with paint by unnamed individuals who are believed to have been undercover agents. 

Ever since its establishment in 2003, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information worked extensively on providing thorough analysis on freedoms in Egypt, Africa, and the Middle East. The organizations' work gained special significance amid the 2011 Arab Spring due to the unprecedented changes in political life in the Middle East. 

However, Egyptians have been reporting increased scrutiny and government harassment suffered by human rights and political activists who have been critical of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi since 2013.

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