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Egypt human rights center attempts to postpone closure

[JURIST] A Cairo-based rehabilitation center for torture victims filed an application to the court on Sunday to postpone its pending closure. Last Wednesday, Egyptian police officers advised the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence [official website] that they will shut down the center [JURIST report] on Monday due to unspecified health ministry violations. Aida Seif el-Dawla, the Nadeem Center's director, expressed [Reuters report] that the government should specify the violations and offer more time to rectify the situation. Furthermore, she accused the crackdown as a political decision to preserve the influence of a government infamous for its human rights abuses. The Nadeem Center previously reported [ABC report] that Egyptian security forces were responsible for 474 deaths and 600 tortures in 2015. Despite their uncertain future, the center plans to continue its services for torture victims even if the closure is fully implemented.

Of particular concern with Egypt's constitutional and human rights is the prosecution and imprisonment of journalists by the Egyptian government, which has garnered widespread criticism from governments and rights groups worldwide. Last month 13 non-governmental organizations issued a joint statement [JURIST report] to the Egyptian parliament giving recommendations to ensure the enforcement of constitutional and human rights. Last year Egyptian lawyer Nasser Amin challenged a law [JURIST report] that allows writers to be jailed for writings that violate Egyptian "morals." In August Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi approved [JURIST report] a 54-article counter-terrorism law that has been met with significant controversy, as many believe it infringes on the freedom of the press. Many have said that the law defines terrorism too broadly and imposes harsh sentences and fines on violators. Human Rights Watch criticized [JURIST report] the law saying it infringes on freedom of the press.

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