The New York Times reports: An Egyptian court dealt a heavy blow to the country’s human rights activists on Saturday by freezing the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three nongovernmental organizations.
The freeze is part of a criminal investigation into the funding and work of prominent activists, including Hossam Bahgat and Gamal Eid, and advocacy groups, like the Hisham Mubarak Law Center and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, which document state abuses.
The human rights defenders are accused of using money acquired illegally from foreign governments to spread lies and harm national security. The charges can result in a sentence of life in prison.
“We don’t regret what we did, and we won’t be silenced,” Mr. Bahgat, who was briefly detained by the military last year and now works as a journalist, told reporters outside the courtroom. “This order was expected, although we fought it.” [Continue reading…]