A legal position paper: The Foreign Funding Case
A Reading in the Judgment of Cairo Criminal Court, the 15th Circuit of South Cairo, in the Felony no. 11120 for 2012 (Kasr El-Nil Department) and no. 10 for 2012 (Middle Cairo Prosecution)
On Thursday, the 20th of December 2018, the 15th Circuit of Cairo Criminal Court, headed by Justice Mohamed Ali Mustapha Al-Fiqie and composed of Justices Mohamed Yehya Rashdan and Ossama Youssef Abo Sh’iesha’, issued a ruling acquitting 41 defendants all of whom are workers of the Republican Institute for International Affairs, the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House Foundation, International Center for Journalists, and Konrad Adenauer Foundation of the charges of establishing and managing organizations of international nature without authorization, and of receiving and accepting money and benefits from institutions and organizations outside the Arab Republic of Egypt in a way that disrupts the sovereignty of the Egyptian state as direct result of their activities and the unlawful foreign funding they receive for practicing these activities in Egypt.
The judgment included a number of important legal principles which may not only help international or national organizations willing to work in the field of the development of the conditions of human rights and democracy in general, but also provide important assurances for workers in international and national organizations and institutions regardless of its legal nature. Although these principles are already established in the law, the government refuses –probably until now- to abide by them, and tries to ignore or escape them.
This judgment, and the principles it included, reaffirm that international cooperation for fostering democracy and human rights – in any form including financial forms – is important and necessary. It also affirms that international treaties signed by Egypt may be relied on in national courts and in their decisions, and that government may not benefit from its failure to answer those who seek authorization to establish organization, institutions, or other organizations.
The judgment we read and present its important principles here is written in 40 pages and constitutes important support to the work of civil society in Egypt.
In order to review the paper: The Foreign Funding Case – A legal position paper