PRESS RELEASE Egypt/ Unjustified closure of EL Nadeem Center by the Egyptian authorities
Egypt/ Unjustified closure of EL Nadeem Center by the Egyptian authorities
Paris, 10 February 2017: After three attempts to shut down El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence by the Egyptian authorities since February 2016, The Center was officially closed on 9 February 2017. Members of the security forces arrived early in the morning and sealed the door, taking advantage of the absence of staff who had stood up against previous attempted closures. The caretaker of the building who tried to prevent the security forces from entering the building was arrested by them, interrogated and released later. Aida Seif El-Dawla, co-founder of El Nadeem Center and who has been placed on the travel ban list since last year, was threatened to be taken with the caretaker when she tried to interfere with his arrest.
Following an administrative order issued on 17 February 2016, members of EL Nadeem Center were accused of violating the registration conditions granted to them and were harassed by the authorities. The Center, who had taken up legal action to challenge the closure decision received on 17 February, was unable to obtain any further precision or clarification concerning the decision. The lawyers of the Center addressed the Ministry of Health where they were informed that no violation had occurred.
Accredited since 1993, more than 20 years ago, El Nadeem Center provides support to victims of torture and violence and is one of the main credible sources of reports on torture, the census of cases, the conditions of detention and all human rights violations in Egypt. El Nadeem Center runs as well a program to combat violence against women.
The FEMED deplores the reign of impunity in Egypt and the increased use of repression against human rights activists, especially those working on torture and enforced disappearances. It expresses solidarity with the El Nadeem Center by firmly condemning its abusive closure.
The FEMED also calls on the Egyptian authorities to suspend the closure order of El Nadeem Center, to explain the reasons behind their decision and to respect the right to contest this decision before a court. Moreover, it calls for national and international solidarity to deal with repression aiming to discourage the victims, their families, the civil society as a whole and all those who support their quest for truth and justice.
Nassera Dutour, President of the FEMED
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