NGOs talk back, accuse Egyptian government of 'smearing' civil society

Nongovernmental organizations on Wednesday (Feb. 15) broke their silence against the oppression they continue to experience under the current Egyptian government.

In two separate statements, 29 Egyptian and 16 international NGOs called on the government to put an end to its “smear” campaigns against civil society, saying the act “discredits” them and paints them as “conspirators” against the country’s stability. The Egyptian NGOs even pressed parliament to adopt the law guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary, which the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces refused early on.

The Egyptian government has stood by its actions against civil society and NGOs in Egypt. It has called the raids in NGO offices in December as “legal” and in accordance to law, saying the groups in question receive foreign funds illegally to foment unrest in the country.

The issue has led to strained relations between Egypt and the United States, and has put billions of aid dollars in jeopardy. But the Egyptian government does not seem to have plans of backing down, as expressed by Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri this February. He said he will not be swayed by aid or other reasons.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.