Egyptian court upholds asset freezes in high-profile NGO trial

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2016 8:07 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) - An Egyptian court on Saturday approved a freeze on the assets of five prominent human rights defenders and three non-governmental organizations, the latest twist in a five-year-old case in which the NGOs are accused of receiving foreign funds to sow chaos.

Egyptian rights activists say they are facing the worst assault in their history amid a wider campaign to erase freedoms won in a 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

An investigating magistrate had ordered the asset freezes, but they were subject to court approval. Saturday's decision paves the way for criminal proceedings against the defendants that could lead to life sentences if they are found guilty.

(Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Gareth Jones)