Court freezes assets of rights defender Azza Soliman after banning her from travel

Azza Soliman, head of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance (CEWLA) was informed by The National Ahly Bank that the judge presiding over the foreign funding case had ordered an asset freeze on her account and the account of the legal firm she heads.

Soliman wasn’t officially notified of her involvement in the case, which has been ongoing since March, neither was her name included in a decision to freeze the assets of five other rights defenders and three organizations in September.

She was banned from travel last Saturday and told by airport security that the decision was issued on November 17 due to her involvement in an ongoing court case.

Soliman told Mada Masr she considers the lack of due process in the case to be “a dangerous escalation and a new attack on civil society.” The legal company affected by the asset freeze is not connected to the work of CEWLA, she clarified.

Neither Soliman nor any of the other employees at CEWLA have been summoned for interrogation, the center said in a statement, which it added violates the law and the constitution, as defendants should be questioned prior to such measures being carried out.

Soliman is set to challenge the asset freeze before the general prosecutor on Tuesday, according to her lawyer.

The Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence was also informed by Credit Agricole Bank on November 10 that its accounts were frozen, but the ban was lifted days later, after the center produced a document stating it is not subject to determinations by the Social Solidarity Ministry.



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