Egypt has never been a welcoming place for civil society groups, but the past several years have seen an unrelenting crackdown on non-governmental organizations. It began with the infamous December 2011 raids on foreign democracy-building organizations and has endured through successive regimes. And yesterday, Egypt once again upped the ante.
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Last night, Egyptian authorities arrested and detained Malek Adly, a prominent human rights lawyer who, as this piece was written, was being investigated by police. He is accused of inciting the protests that took place on April 25.
Editor's Note: This piece originally appeared on Markaz.
When Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji was acquitted of “harming public morality” in January 2016, civil society and the artistic community rejoiced at the judiciary’s decision reinforcing the country’s constitutional commitment to freedom of artistic and literary creativity. The celebrations were premature.
The Islamic State opened up a new front when it downed a Russian passenger plane in October over Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. U.S. and allied attention understandably focuses on the terrorism threat posed by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) to their own homelands or on the carnage in Syria, now estimated to have consumed almost 500,000 lives.