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 Full text 
Thursday, 16 February 2012 - Strasbourg OJ edition

Egypt: recent developments (debate)

  Ana Gomes, on behalf of the S&D Group.(PT) Mr President, one year on from the revolution that triggered the Arab Spring and from the fall of Mubarak, the Egyptian people are still waiting for democracy, the rule of law and social justice. The military regime has been repressing the driving forces of the revolution, along with the local and foreign NGOs that have been working towards holding free, transparent and credible elections, and towards creating a pluralist and democratic state that respects human rights, including the rights of Egypt’s minorities. It is absolutely unacceptable that the police and courts are harassing civil society organisations, both Egyptian and foreign, in the shape of the forced closure of offices, and the interrogation of and threats against staff.

The European Union must support secular and democratic forces within Egypt by pressuring the regime to abolish the Mubarak-era law on the registration of NGOs. In view of recent statements by the Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation, there is an urgent need, at least, for the European Union to monitor carefully aid programmes whose implementation falls to that ministry and even to suspend them, if necessary, so as to prevent European funds from being spent on repressing Egyptian civil society. More for more should also result in less for less in countries in which the democratic aspirations of their people are being betrayed, as unfortunately seems to be the case in Egypt.

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