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Mohamed Azmy

HRD & President
The General Nubian Union

Mohamed Azmy is a lawyer and human rights defender and is currently President of the General Nubian Union, based in Aswan. He advocates for land rights of Nubian people and fair resettlement in their historical homeland in the South of Egypt. The General Nubian Union in Aswan is a recently founded movement active in promoting the right to return of the Nubian community to their ancestral land since their forced displacement as a result of various government-led projects such as the construction of the Aswan High Dam in the 1960s. The Nubian people are indigenous African people situated mainly in the southern parts of Egypt. In addition to historically facing land expropriation and forced displacement by the Egyptian government, Nubian people also face cultural marginalisation and racial discrimination.

A significant crackdown on civil society in Egypt has been taking place since 2014. HRDs face an extremely challenging situation due to restrictions imposed on civil society and peaceful public gatherings and protests, travel bans, the arrest and sentencing of HRDs, bloggers, journalists and protesters, as well as an ongoing smear campaign against human rights groups.

Law 84 of 2002 regulates the establishment and functioning of NGOs. The law provides the Executive with several means and venues to exercise political control over the work of NGOs, including restricting their access to foreign funding and their ability to join international associations. It also provides the government with wide powers of dissolution. Human rights organisations are being subjected to judicial investigations by a committee of experts to assess whether they comply with Association Law 84/2002. Bans on their events have also been taking place.