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The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2001

A publication of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor

Articles

The State, Laws and Nongovernmental Organizations in Bangladesh
By Mokbul Morshed Ahmad

China's Nongovernmental Organizations: Status, Government Policies, and Prospects for Further Development
By Guangyao Chen

The Czech Government and NGOs in 2001
By Petr Pajas

The Italian Legal System Relating to Not-for-Profit Organizations: A Historical and Evolutionary Overview
By Alceste Santuari

Reviews

The Legal System Between the State and Civil Society
By Jurgen Nautz, Emil Brix, and Gerhard Luf
Reviewed by Thomas Notter

Foundations of Charity
By Charles Mitchell and Susan R. Moody
Reviewed by Karla Simon

Case Notes

Middle East and North Africa:
Egypt

North America:
the United States

Country Reports

Asia Pacific:
Regional
| Australia | Cambodia | Indonesia | Japan

Central and Eastern Europe:
Regional | Albania | Lithuania

Latin America and the Caribbean:
Brazil | Chile | Venezuela

Middle East and North Africa:
Yemen

Newly Independent States:
Belarus

North America:
the United States

South Asia:
India

Sub-Saharan Africa:
Botswana
| Ghana | South Africa

Western Europe:
France | Germany

Self-Regulation Reports

Northern NGO Guidelines and Codes of Conduct: Conflicting Rights and Responsibilities?
By Julie Gale

Building Trust in NGOs
By Simon Heap

Nigeria: Draft Code of Standard Practice for NGOs

Switzerland: New Accounting Rules for Not-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs)

International Grantmaking

Bar Association Task Force Revisits Private Foundation Rules: Implication for Foreign Grantmaking
By Richard S. Gallagher

Donating to U.S. Charities
By Arthur B.C. Drache, Q.C.

The Council on Foundations Secures Information Letter that Permits Use of Expenditure Responsibility for Most International Grants

 

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Editorial Board

Case Notes: Middle East and North Africa

Egypt

Egyptian Court Sentences Human Rights Activist Saad Addin Ibrahim to Seven Years Imprisonment

On May 21, 2001 a three- judge panel of the Supreme Security Court convicted Professor Saad Eddin Ibrahim and 27 of his colleagues to prison terms ranging from one to seven years. The conviction and sentencing of the 28 defendants, which followed a six-month trial, occurred just 90 minutes after the defense completed the summation of its case. The judges left the courtroom without explaining their oral ruling.

Dr. Ibrahim, professor of sociology at the American University of Cairo and Director of the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, was arrested last July and charged under Military Decree 4/1992 of tarnishing Egypt’s image abroad, illegally accepting foreign funds without prior state approval, conspiring to bribe media employees, and embezzling European Union funds (a charge that the EU itself refutes). The charges stemmed from Dr. Ibrahim’s work in promoting voter participation in last November’s parliamentary elections, and producing a documentary video shedding light on election fraud allegedly carried out by the government in the course of the 1995 elections.

This case is an example of the Egyptian government’s use of military decrees and “emergency” laws to muzzle dissenting voices in civil society. The provisions of Egyptian law that require prior permission to receive foreign funding and which include criminal penalties in laws governing civil society organizations are clearly contrary to international good practice. In addition, various procedural characteristics of the Security Court in which Dr. Ibrahim’s case was heard -- the lack of a appeal to a higher court on substantive grounds, for example -- are not in keeping with international standards of human rights.

Dr. Ibrahim’s attorney has indicated that he will appeal the Security Court’s ruling to the Cassation Court, which is Egypt’s highest court.

The international community -- including the United States government, the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights Defenders and the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers of the UN Commission on Human Rights, and human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch -- has voiced its concern over Egypt’s harsh treatment of Dr. Ibrahim and his colleagues. Editorial treatment of the convictions in respected international journals has been uniformly critical.

Those who take issue with the treatment of Dr. Ibrahim and his fellow defenders of human rights, and would like to express their opinion to the Egyptian Government, can make sue of the petition available on the following website: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/FSEI/petition.html

 

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ISSN: 1556-5157