Amnesty denounces Egypt's civil society bill

Associated Press

CAIRO (AP) — An International rights group is denouncing Egypt's presidency's decision to move ahead with a disputed bill feared to stifle non-governmental organizations, despite assurances by the president that it will not put "restraints" on civil society.

Amnesty International warned in a statement Wednesday that the bill, if passed by the country's defacto parliament, would be "a death blow" to civil society. They say it gives authorities "wide ranging powers" over the registration, activities and funding of NGOs through a newly formed body in which state security agencies will be represented.

The group expressed its fears just as President Mohammed Morsi said on Wednesday that the state would support NGOs but that it had a role to protect society from "foreign dangers."

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