While criticism continues over the the verdicts in the NGO trial, Egypt’s draft NGO law has provoked a significant local and international uproar. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights (with over 40 other local rights organizations), Human Rights Watch, and Navy Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, are among the many who have spoken out against the law. The State Department also issued a statement expressing its concern over the law, saying, “The draft law still imposes significant government controls and restrictions on the activities and funding of civic groups.”
Two significant forms of restriction in the draft law are on foreign funding and the reporting of activities to the government. Similar laws have been enacted in Ethiopia, Uzbekistan, Russia and Ecuador, all of which have seen significant NGO shutdowns as a result of overly-restrictive laws.