Egyptian authorities urged to withdraw restrictive law

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Navi Pillay

Authorities in Egypt have been urged by the United Nations human rights chief to withdraw a law to control the activities of non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says she is concerned about moves in a number of countries to restrict NGOs.

Ms Pillay says using laws and administrative powers to curtail these organizations can be very damaging.

Charles Appel reports.

Navi Pillay says that a draft law on regulation of non-governmental organizations in Egypt gives the government too much power to regulate, monitor and restrict the work of civil society organizations.

She warns that if passed in its current form, it will seriously damage the spirit of the revolution in which civil society played a pivotal role.

Ms. Pillay describes the law as "a potentially serious blow" to the human rights, aspirations and fundamental freedoms for which many Egyptians have struggled.

She says the authorities have also been clamping down on foreign-funded civil society organizations in the country.

Charles Appel, United Nations.

Duration: 39″

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