The government referred the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) to investigation on Tuesday, following a hearing at the European Parliament denouncing human rights’ violations in Egypt.
An investigating judge in the NGO foreign funding case delegated a committee from the Ministry of Social Solidarity to visit the CIHRS’ Cairo offices and look into its activities, according to a statement by the CIHRS on Wednesday.
President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz commented via Twitter, saying that harassment of human rights defenders in Egypt is unacceptable.
Director of the CIHRS Bahey eldin Hassan had spoken about human rights in Egypt at a 28 May hearing of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament.
Hassan discussed the “lack of accountability for human rights violators in light of the politicisation of the justice system in Egypt”. He also talked about the mass death sentences or life sentences handed down to hundreds of secular young people who took part in the January 25 Revolution.
Hassan had pointed out the lawyer Negad El-Borai’s “arbitrary treatment” whilst under interrogation for cooperating with two judges in drafting an anti-torture law.
He had also said that Egypt has become a republic of fear, in which politics is absent, and that the current administration is controlling the political process with no significant accountability or oversight.
The government has been using the “war on terror” slogan as a pretext for its war on the basic rights and liberties of individuals of all political orientations, Hassan also asserted.
“Instead of responding to these criticisms, the government has apparently decided to retaliate against the institute,” the CIHRS statement said.
Hassan received death threats last year, prompting him to inform the president of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR).