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PHR Condemns Closure of Egyptian Anti-Torture Organization

Shuttering of El-Nadeem Center is an Attack on Human Rights Defenders

For Immediate Release

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today condemned the shuttering of Egypt’s premiere anti-torture organization and clinic, the El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence. On Thursday, Egyptian officials sealed the organization’s office doors after a protracted effort to halt its work.

The following statement is attributable to PHR Executive Director Donna McKay:

“It is both sad and troubling that Egypt’s government would shut down a center dedicated to the treatment of torture survivors – it’s truly a new low when those who care for victims of torture and ill treatment are punished for doing their jobs. Lashing out against the El-Nadeem Center is a direct assault on all those who fight to defend human rights in Egypt and the greater Middle East.

“Our colleagues at the El-Nadeem Center use medicine and science to fight impunity and end torture and ill-treatment, which have – for far too long – cast a dark shadow across Egypt. They’ve stood up to the Egyptian state by condemning not just torture, but also forced disappearances, kidnappings, unsubstantiated arrests, and illegal detentions. Closing down El-Nadeem is an attempt by Egypt’s authorities to paper over the government’s abysmal human rights track record.

“We demand the center be permitted to re-open and that the baseless allegations against them be dropped entirely. We stand in solidarity with them and all those who seek to end the brutality and cruelty of torture.”

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.

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Kevin Short

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