Egyptian rights law draws criticism

April 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM   |   Comments

1 of 2
| License Photo
GENEVA, Switzerland, April 2 (UPI) -- A move by the Egyptian government to restrict the activity of civil organizations runs counter to the spirit of the revolution, U.N. human rights experts said.

Egyptian lawmakers presented draft legislation that would label funds for non-governmental organizations public funds and therefore subject to more scrutiny.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said there were serious concerns about freedom of expression in Egypt as a result.

"The draft ... would have a chilling effect on the ability of Egyptian NGOs in the first instance but also international NGOs to support the democratic process in Egypt," she said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the issue during meetings with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, she said.

Morsi's administration has been accused of placing too much emphasis on Islamic law. He is from the political wing of Islamist group, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Nuland's concerns follow the censuring of Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef, who's accused of insulting the president and Islam.

Human rights experts working for the United Nations said Egyptian political trends were evolving in the wrong direction.

"We are seriously concerned that numerous provisions contained in the draft law may be used to hamper the legitimate work of civil society organizations, particularly those advocating human rights," their statement read.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Northrop Grumman developing reusable space plane for lifting spacecraft into orbit
American photojournalist James Wright Foley executed by Islamic State
New York Post defies #ISISMediablackout with graphic James Foley cover
Texas man on trial for 'public execution' of drunk driver
Last hostages freed, suspects arrested in Harvey, Ill.
Trending News