Egyptian authorities have frozen the assets of a prominent human rights group that works with torture victims, the head of the organisation said on Thursday.
The move came months after authorities tried on two separate occasions to shut down the El Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture and Violence.
“Today they informed us that the legal department at our bank had received a ruling from the Central Bank to freeze our account,” the group’s head Magda Adly told AFP.
She said the central bank linked its decision to the group’s “legal status” and conforming with a repressive NGO law that dates back to the rule of president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011.
London-based watchdog Amnesty International denounced the move, and urged authorities to revoke the decision against the centre, which provides psychological support for torture and violence victims and documents complaints of torture in detention.
In February and April, authorities issued orders to close the centre with the health ministry saying it was carrying out “activities other than those allowed” in line with its association permit.
Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of violations, including forced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and illegal detentions.
In September a court froze the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three NGOs, who had been under investigation for allegedly receiving foreign funds in a case dating from 2011.