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Sunday, 4 June 2017

Three US Republican senators condemn new NGO Act, calling it “draconian” and “repressive”

Three US Republican senators criticized the newly ratified NGOs law, calling it a “draconian” and “repressive” crackdown on human rights, Reuters reports. “President al-Sisi’s decision to ratify the draconian legislation … that regulates the work of nongovernmental organizations is the latest sign of a growing crackdown on human rights and peaceful dissent in Egypt," Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said in a joint statement. Sen. Marco Rubio called the law “repressive” and said it would have a “terrible impact” on Egypt’s ability to make reforms, condemning it as a “direct attack on independent civil society in Egypt.”

McCain and Graham hinted at imposing conditionality on aid to Egypt, saying Congress should “strengthen democratic benchmarks and human rights conditions on U.S. assistance for Egypt.” In response, Egyptian lawmakers said “the law was necessary to protect national security.” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said “it is important to be vigilant about the intention of some civil society entities that have gotten used to working outside the law, and that were harmed by the issuing of the new law, to defame the image of civil society in Egypt.”

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