The Arab Human Rights Information Network, one of Egypt’s last independent rights groups, has closed.
One of Egypt’s last independent human rights organizations has closed its doors, according to a statement from the group, citing government persecution.
The Egyptian government has for years engaged in a widespread crackdown on dissent that has suffocated many civil society groups in the country and imprisoned thousands of people.
The Arab Human Rights Information Network, an Egyptian organization, was founded in 2004 by a team of lawyers and activists. He has documented violations against citizens, journalists and political prisoners in Egypt and the region. It also followed increasing government intimidation and targeting of human rights defenders and others.
But laws that have made many ANHRI operations illegal have forced the organization to shut down, executive director Gamal Eid said in a statement on Monday.
He said workers in the group were arrested, intimidated and physically assaulted by security forces.
“We continue to be conscientious lawyers, and as individuals, independent human rights defenders will work alongside the few remaining independent human rights organizations, independent human rights defenders and the whole movement calling for democracy, ”he wrote.
A government media official did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment on the organization’s statement.
Those jailed in recent years included secular activists who had been implicated in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled the country’s longtime leader, Hosni Mubarak.
As a lawyer, Eid has represented some of the most prominent lay detainees. A court has ordered his assets to be frozen and has banned him from traveling since 2016.
Since coming to power in 2013, President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has overseen the post-uprising crackdown and banned the Muslim Brotherhood, calling it a “terrorist organization”.
The country is ranked among the worst jailers of journalists in the world, along with Turkey and China, according to the nonprofit Committee to Protect Journalists.