Moves by the authorities to shut down the renowned El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence appear to mark an expansion of the ongoing crackdown on human rights activists in Egypt, said Amnesty International today.
Earlier today, members of the security forces entered the Center and presented an order to shut down operations. No explanation was provided as to why the order was issued.
“The El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence provides a lifeline to hundreds of victims of torture and the families of people who have been subjected to enforced disappearance. This looks to us like a barefaced attempt to shut down an organization which has been a bastion for human rights and a thorn in the side of the authorities for more than 20 years,” said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program.
“The authorities must freeze the order to close the Center and provide it with a clear explanation of the reasons behind the order. The El Nadeem Center must be given an opportunity to challenge the order before a court.”
The Center has been licensed since 1993 and has provided hundreds of torture victims with vital services including counselling and legal assistance.