Washington, DC - I am deeply concerned by the deterioration in the human rights situation in Egypt in recent weeks and months, including the reported decision this week by the Egyptian government to reopen an investigation of Egyptian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) documenting human rights abuses and defending the freedoms enshrined in Egypt’s constitution. This decision comes against a wider backdrop of arrests and intimidation of political opposition, journalists, civil society activists and cultural figures.

These steps run contrary to the universal principle of freedom of association and to the Government of Egypt's commitments to support the role of civil society in governance and development.

Restrictions on the space for civil society activity will produce neither stability nor security. I urge the Government of Egypt to work with civic groups to ease restrictions on association and expression and to take action to allow these and other human rights NGOs to operate freely.