Marietje Schaake submitted the following question to High Representative Federica Mogherini following the closure of the Al-Nadeem Centre by Egyptian authorities in Cairo last week.
On February 9th 2017, the office of the Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence in Cairo was closed and sealed off by Egyptian policy. The closure, which was not substantiated by any argumentation, follows at least two previous attempts by Egyptian authorities, to harass, intimidate and close the Al-Nadeem Center.
President Sisi and his security forces are increasingly cracking down on Egyptian civil society, carrying out arbitrary arrests against human rights defenders and do not shy away from conducting ever increasing human rights violations. Conditions in prisons and detention facilities are appalling and accounts of torture and forced disappearances are rife.
Following the closure of the Al-Nadeem Center, an EEAS spokesperson issued a three word statement, naming it a “development of particular concern” (1).
1. Given the current grave political and human rights situation in Egypt, why did the HR/VP not issue a stronger statement herself?
2. Has the HR/VP or her representation in Egypt discussed the closure of the Al-Nadeem Center with Egyptian authorities at the highest level and will there be consequences following this decision by Egyptian authorities, a development which does not stand alone?
3. Does the Al-Nadeem Center receive EU funding under the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument and if so, what will be the consequences of the closing down for the EU’s strategy when it comes to financing NGO’s operating in Egypt?