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Mohamed Zarea

HRD & Head
The Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO)

Mohamed Zarea is the head of the Arab Organisation for Penal Reform. The Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO) is an independent Arab NGO founded in 2004 as a law firm. APRO’s consultative council is comprised of prominent human rights experts in Egypt and the Arab World. The organisation is head-quartered in Cairo with several satellite offices in other Arab countries under construction.

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.