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Anti-torture NGO founders Magda Adly and Suzanne Fayyad summoned for interrogation

Co-founders of Al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence Magda Adly and Suzanne Fayyad were summoned for interrogation on Sunday by the investigative judge presiding over the NGO foreign funding case.

According to a statement issued Sunday by Al-Nadeem, the summons requested that the two activists appear before the judge on Thursday, May 31.

In relation to what is known as the NGO foreign funding case, multiple rights defenders have been interrogated, had their assets frozen and been banned from leaving Egypt pending investigations into charges of receiving foreign funding with the aim of destabilizing national security. The case has been ongoing since 2011.

Fayyad was prevented from traveling when she attempted to leave Egypt in October 2017, but it was unclear whether this was related to the case or not.

Al-Nadeem asserted that it believes the summons are in response to the recent international recognition the NGO has received.

In January, the anti-torture NGO was awarded the 2018 Amnesty International Germany Human Rights Award for its documentation of incidents of torture committed by the Egyptian authorities, and its treatment and support of survivors, over the last 20 years.

After successive attempts to close the center in past years, the authorities shuttered the NGO in February last year on a public holiday, while no one was in the office. During previous attempts to close Al-Nadeem, staff had refused to leave the premises.

The Health Ministry issued a closure order for the center in February 2016, which argued that it violated the law by shifting its focus from the provision of medical services to working on human rights issues. The order was not successfully carried out.

Al-Nadeem filed a lawsuit against the Health Ministry and several other entities later that month before an administrative court.

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