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Transparency International calls on Egypt’s leaders to provide a safe space for civil society organisations

Transparency International, the global organisation leading the fight against corruption, calls on the Egyptian military government to stop pursuing criminal charges against those working for non-governmental organisations, to end restrictions on NGO activity and to provide a safe space for citizens to voice their views and concerns.

Yesterday the Egyptian Justice department charged more than 40 people because of their affiliation with international and Egyptian non-governmental organisations.

“Harassment of those working for non-governmental organisations is unacceptable and undermines the demands for public accountability which was at the heart of the Arab Spring. It also is in direct conflict with international obligations that Egypt has ratified to protect and promote civil society,” said Huguette Labelle, Chair of Transparency International.

The current charges against those working for non-governmental organisations follow a series of government raids on the offices of organisations in January.

In addition, Transparency International calls for:

  • Removal of restrictions on civil society organisations
  • Respect for Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), which recognises the key role civil society and non-governmental organisations play in ensuring accountability. Egypt ratified UNCAC in 2005.
  • Introduction of access to information legislation
  • Speedy trials to bring perpetrators of corruption to justice, with due process of law

“There must be a new relationship based on trust and respect between citizens and their political leaders in Egypt. This can only happen if citizens have a free voice and an unrestricted space to be heard,” said Labelle.

See our Open Letter from INGOs working in Egypt about the crackdown on civil societyfrom 15 February 2012.

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