North Cairo Criminal Court froze the assets of Nazra for Feminist Studies and its executive director Mozn Hassan on Wednesday, the latest development in the 2011 foreign funding case, in which several organizations face charges of receiving foreign funding with the aim of endangering national security.
The same court issued a verdict last September against five rights defenders and three organizations, including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and its founder, journalist Hossam Bahgat, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and its head Gamal Eid, the Egyptian Center for Right to Education and its head Abdel Hafiz Tayel, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and its head Bahey Eddin Hassan and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and its manager Mostafa al-Hassan.
The first round of trials in the case ended in 2013, with the closure of several organizations and verdicts in absentia ranging from one to five years against 43 of their foreign and Egyptian employees.
It was reopened in 2016, this time targeting a number of local organizations, with 37 named and measures taken against at least 12 of them, including summons, travel bans and asset freezes.
Nazra issued a statement following the verdict asserting that it would continue its work despite restrictions. “Even though financial resources are an important factor in the work of any organization and a guarantee for its sustainability, the work of civil society organizations is not strictly limited to receiving funds, but [is based on] the belief in principles and ideas related to the rights of citizens and working to realize them, and the attempts of these groups to positively affect their societies.”
Nazra is a leading organization in the field of women rights in Egypt and has been operational since 2007. The organization met the requirements mandated by the NGO law passed by parliament in November.