Shutdown of renowned torture rehabilitation centre in Egypt

9 February 2017, 17:06 UTC

In response to the news that the El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence was raided by police and shut down today Deputy Director for campaigns at Amnesty International’s Tunis regional office Najia Bounaim said:

“Today’s shutdown of the El Nadeem Center, an organization which offers crucial support to survivors of torture and violence, is yet another shocking attack on civil society in Egypt. The move exposes the chilling extremes to which the authorities are prepared to go to in their relentless and unprecedented persecution of human rights activists in recent years.

“This is a blatant attempt by the authorities to punish the El Nadeem Center for its work supporting victims of torture and other ill-treatment and families of people subjected to enforced disappearances. The Egyptian authorities have made it increasingly clear that anyone who stands up for human rights in Egypt today is perceived as a threat. They should be providing redress to victims of torture and offering support to organizations such as El Nadeem, not storming their offices and preventing them from carrying out their valuable work.”

 The shutdown of El Nadeem follows a year of harassment by the authorities. In February 2016 security forces entered El Nadeem’s premises and presented staff with an order to shut down operations without providing an explanation. The centre filed a judicial appeal against the decision before an Egyptian court the same month. However, police carried out the latest raid without waiting for the outcome of this appeal.

In November 2016, the Central Bank of Egypt also issued an order to freeze the organization’s bank account.