Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi waits for a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew at the presidential palace in Cairo, October 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Hassan Ammar/Pool)
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Egypt's ultimatum to thousands of non-governmental organizations to register with the government by Nov. 10 will deal a death blow to the country's civil society, activists say.Armed with a law from the era of Hosni Mubarak, the autocratic president ousted in 2011, the new authorities in Egypt are aiming to keep tabs on the activities and funding of NGOs by forcing them to register. The move comes nearly three years after Egypt's then military rulers infuriated Washington by raiding five foreign NGOs and putting on trial their staff, including the son of Ray LaHood, the U.S. transport secretary at the time. The move would also give the authorities means to quickly dissolve NGOs if required.According to a draft that the authorities circulated to NGOs, the government proposes setting up an inter-ministerial commission including security representatives to oversee nearly 47,000 NGOs in the country.
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