The Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's parliament on March 22, 2017. Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters The Bundestag, the lower house of Germany's parliament on March 22, 2017. Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters

Bundestag’s Jensen praises Sisi’s decision to reconsider NGO law

Tue, Nov. 13, 2018
CAIRO – 13 November 2018: Chairman of the human rights committee in Germany’s Bundestag, Gyde Jensen, praised President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s order to reconsider the 2017 NGO law, saying that such step willhave a positive impact on NGOs in Egypt.

This came during Jensen's meeting with Egypt’s Parliament Speaker Ali Abdel Aal on Monday, Nov. 12 in the Egyptian capitalas part of the German official’s formal visit. The Bundestag is the lower house of the German Parliament.

President Sisi agreed earlier in November to form an official committee to discuss the law governing the operation of foreign NGOs in Egypt, as a prelude to possible amendments.

During his participation at the 2nd edition of the World Youth Forum, the Egyptian leader said the law might be amended after articles of the law were discussed and studied.

In May 2017, Sisi ratified a law regulating the work of civil society organizations in the country. The law sees the creation of a new body called the National Authority to Regulate NGOs operations, operating over 48,000 NGOs in the country.

The new NGO Law states that the government authority has to complete the documentation procedure with the new association within a maximum period of 16 days and also mandates that the government must first approve any kind of foreign funding that shall be presented to any Egyptian NGO.

It also allows foreign communities living in Egypt to establish their own bond or association as a foreign NGO to defend the community’s interests and offer not-for-profit services to the members of the community.

On August 22, 2017, Washington decided to withhold almost $300 million from Egypt over what it deemed a “controversial NGO law,” referring to thenew law that passed on May 31 to regulate the work of civil society organizations.

The law was approved by President Sisi six months after its ratification by the Parliament.

What is controversial about Egypt’s NGO law?

On August 22, Washington decided to withhold almost $300 million from Egypt over what it deemed a “controversial NGO law,” referring to a new law that passed on May 31 to regulate the work of civil society organizations.




Additional reporting by Nawal Sayed
 
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