General: Egypt: GCHR stands in solidarity with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, as it announces its closure
On 10 January 2022, our human rights partner the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) announced that it will suspend its operation and activities with immediate effect.
ANHRI summed up the reasons for its closure as follows: "given the increasing disregard for the rule of law in Egypt, growing violations against human rights which do not spare independent human rights organisations and defenders, and an increase in police harassment, whether under a legal or judicial pretext or through explicit persecution."
The suspension was the last resort after our courageous friends at ANHRI put "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 organisations, 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 concluded, "We are filled with hope and confidence that one day this dark phase of Egypt's history, which is flooded with violations and the absence of the law, will come to an end. Until this day comes, we, as individual lawyers, will support them and work along their side to defend human rights and freedom of expression and to build an Egypt free from prisoners of conscience, oppression and impunity."
There is no doubt that it is a sad day for the human rights movement in the Middle East and North Africa, as ANHRI, which was established on 18 March 2004, had a leading role in monitoring and documenting the grave violations that took place in Arab countries and did everything it could to protect human rights defenders. Due to its sober and persistent human rights work, its team members have always been targeted by repressive authorities in Egypt.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) salutes its partner ANHRI, especially its founder and executive director, human rights lawyer Gamal Eid, and deputy director human rights lawyer Rawda Ahmed, along with the rest of their colleagues. We condemn in the strongest terms the Egyptian government's continued and dangerous targeting of ANHRI, forcing it to stop working.
We will never lose hope, and we hope that ANHRI will one day be able to return to work again with stronger determination than ever.