Statements & Declarations 18 Feb 2016
Egypt must stop obstructing the work of IRCT member El Nadeem

The IRCT calls on the Government of Egypt to immediately stop the actions to obstruct the work of our Egyptian member centre, the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, and desist in its attempt to close it.

On 17th February 2016, Egyptian authorities notified the Nadeem Centre of a closure order, without any substantive justification for the decision. While Nadeem was able to negotiate a delay in the execution of the order until a meeting between the Nadeem Center and the Ministry of Health, the IRCT remains deeply concerned by this action.

The Nadeem Center is a private, politically independent health clinic. The order of closure can only be understood against the backdrop of the systematic effort by Egyptian authorities to crack down on rights and freedoms. Since al-Sisi was elected to the presidency in June 2014, repression and shrinking of the public space has only increased, targeting the entire spectrum of human rights organisations, professional and labour associations, political activists, journalists and media.

“Our movement, over 150 rehabilitation centres coming from all regions of the world, stand in firm solidarity with El Nadeem Centre, its founders, its staff and its clients. The El Nadeem Centre is the only organisation providing much needed holistic rehabilitation services to torture victims in Egypt and without them the victims will have nowhere to turn for support,” said IRCT President Suzanne Jabbour.

All of this is happening in a context where reports of torture and ill-treatment and enforced disappearances in Egypt are frequent, and therefore the work of documentation and rehabilitation satisfies vital needs. 

“The Egyptian authorities have a duty to protect and promote the work of human rights defenders; any State hoping to be regarded as democratic must abide by the rule of law and respect for human rights.  We will continue to be concerned with this situation until it is fully solved,” said Victor Madrigal-Borloz, IRCT Secretary-General.

The IRCT calls on the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Human Rights Defenders, the African Union and the European Union to pay close attention to this situation and to intervene with the Egyptian authorities to ensure that fundamental human rights are protected and due process is applied.  

For questions or comments please contact:

Asger Kjaerum, Director of Advocacy at akj@irct.org or +4527122197

“My only wish is that no one else endures the pain we went through, pain from torture, which still occurs today. I hope there can be a torture free world where human rights are not violated and where people can express their opinions.” - Torture survivor

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