Elsewhere online
December 30, 2014

Decree Raises Fears Among Nonprofits Working in Egypt

Advocacy and nonprofit organizations in Egypt are preparing for a crackdown under a sweeping decree by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi targeting groups that receive money from abroad, The New York Times writes.

The new law carries a possible life sentence for foreign-funded activities deemed to "harm the national interest," "compromise national unity" or "breach security or public peace." Ghada Waly, Egypt's minister of social solidarity and the government official in charge of nonprofits, said she has been assured by judicial authorities that the measure will be applied narrowly to groups using foreign funding to subsidize terrorism.

Activists fear the measure imposed by Mr. Sisi's military-backed regime will be interpreted broadly as a tool to snuff out dissent by targeting pro-democracy and human rights organizations. The government has also launched a drive to enforce existing but heretofore rarely applied requirements for nonprofits to register with the government and to obtain permits to raise money.