Yesterday Monday September 19, Bahey Eldin Hassan, Director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights (CIHRS) delivered a statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC), 33rd session in Geneva.
The statement came two days after a court ruling was issued in Egypt to freeze the assets of Bahey Eldin Hassan, CIHRS, and assets of other human rights defenders and centers. This is part of the systematic retaliation plan by the Egyptian government against anyone who dared to defend human rights in Egypt. According to the statement, ‘this effort to eradicate civil society comes during a period of unprecedented government repression that has led to more radicalization; a time where civil society is needed the most’
Bahey Eldin Hassan stated that the asset freeze is not the culmination of the government campaign against rights defenders. He expects more severe rulings, of up to life imprisonment, against human rights defenders in the coming period under Article 78 of the Penal Code -which was ostensibly amended recently to address terrorism. “Hassan” fears for the future of the human rights movement in Egypt and for the country as a whole under a corrupt, authoritarian military regime.
“Hassan” warned that if the HRC remained silent in face of the suppression of Egyptian human rights organizations and the targeting of rights defenders; it will only encourage other countries to follow in a similar manner; targeting rights defenders elsewhere. ‘I’m lucky. While I have only received death threats, tens of thousands of other peaceful Egyptians have been killed, tortured, imprisoned, or disappeared’
On September 17, Bahey Eldin Hassan along with four other individuals and three other rights centers had their assets frozen in connection with case no. 173/2011 on foreign funding. What the government is aggressively pursuing with the aim of eradicating the Egyptian human rights movement
This post is also available in: Arabic