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Last Independent Human Rights Group in Egypt Suspends Operations

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, one of the last independent human rights organizations in Egypt, announced in a statement on its website that, “in the absence of the bare minimum of the rule of law and respect for human rights,” it has suspended its operations and its activities.

“ANHRI’s decision to suspend its activities comes after many strenuous attempts to continue to operate despite the difficult conditions which Egyptians are going through and the state of political instability that the government has employed to put restrictions on independent human rights organizations, as well as the expansion in the arrests and detention of human rights defenders, journalists and political activists, regardless of whether they are independent or affiliated to political parties,” the statement posted on Monday said.

The group said that the Egyptian security forces’ targeting of ANHRI has been “particularly severe and hostile,” ranging from arrests of staff and violent physical assaults to attempts to recruit staff members as informants on the group.

The organization was founded in 2004 by lawyers and activists in order to document violations against citizens, journalists and political prisoners in Egypt and the region, as well as the targeting of human rights workers and others.

“We are suspending our institutional work and activities today, but we continue to be lawyers who have a conscience, and as individual, independent human rights defenders will work side by side with the few remaining independent human rights organizations, independent human rights defenders and the entire movement calling for democracy,” ANHRI’s executive director, Gamal Eid, said in a statement.