Director of leading feminist organization Nazra banned from travel

Mozn Hassan, executive director of the Nazra For Feminist Studies center, was banned from traveling on Monday as she attempted to board a flight to Beirut, the organization said in a statement.

Hassan was flying from Cairo to Beirut to participate in the Executive Committee meeting for the Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) Regional Coalition for the Middle East and North Africa as a regional expert for the coalition, which is scheduled to take place from June 27-July 1.

Hassan joins the list of human rights defenders banned from travel in relation to a 2011 case, reopened in March of this year, against local NGOs for receiving foreign funding.    

The case dates back to December 2011, when 43 workers for foreign NGOs were charged with operating an organization and receiving funds from a foreign government without a license.

Journalist and human rights defender Hossam Bahgat and director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) Gamal Eid were both banned from traveling in relation to the case. An investigations judge also ordered the freezing of their assets, as well as the assets of Eid’s wife, daughter and four others.

Head of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) Mohamed Zarea was also banned from traveling in May in relation to the case.

Hassan had received a summons in March, but her interrogation was postponed to a later date, after her lawyers went to meet with the judge and review the case files. They were informed that the interrogation had been delayed, and that they would be able to examine the files at a later date, after which Hassan would be re-summoned for investigation.

Three other Nazra employees have also been questioned about the nature of their work, but Hassan is the first official defendant in the re-opened case for the organization.

The Cairo Criminal Court is scheduled to review whether to freeze Bahgat’s and Eid’s assets on July 17.

The hearing has been postponed twice since the case was reopened, once to April 20 and again to May 23. At the hearing in May, an investigative judge recommended that the assets of four additional people be frozen: Bahey Eddin Hassan, founder of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, as well as another employee at the center; Mostafa al-Hassan, manager of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center; and Abdel Hafez Tayel, head of the Egyptian Center for Right to Education.

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