Group of lawyers and researchers working in non profit and independent legal firm, which is established accordance to Egyptian legal profession law, under the name of “Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression”(AFTE).
In the light of Egyptian constitution, universal declaration and international treaties, AFTE is interested in issues related with defending, promoting and protecting freedoms of thought and expression in Egypt.
Freedom of thought and expression is an essential feature of society development, pillar of democracy and important mean of self-expressing. Which makes it joint point of positive interaction between needs of individual beings and good governance commitments.
Therefore, the freedom of expression is backing frame of the dialogue within society which must include the free access and circulation of thoughts and information, in context of respecting differences, promoting pluralism, right to knowledge and adequate accessibility to information.
Thus, AFTE activists have common vision that Egyptian society need to freely practice all ways and means of the free expression and free access and circulation of information, without interference of security or religious authorities. In addition to our assurance on importance of values of tolerance and acceptance, which will achieve the indeed democracy based on the constitutional and international human rights.
AFTE’s Units and Programs
Legal aid Unit
It is one of support units in AFTE, and works mainly on:
- providing direct legal aid such legal defense or legal advice in issues related with AFTE’s interest fields about the freedom of expression;
- Legal monitoring and documenting of violations;
- Legal commentaries about legislations in force and bills;
- Participating in legal researches;
- Planning and implementing the strategic litigation, which is important tool of getting judicial principles that can protect rights and freedoms from legislative defects;
- Spreading legal awareness related with AFTE issues by trainings, workshops and booklets.
The Academic Freedom and Student Rights Program
This program works on advocating and supporting the freedom of faculty members in higher education institutions, in research, teaching, and publishing with no restrictions or external tutelage. We also work on protecting and supporting student rights within these institutions; these rights include the freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly, the right to participate in managing their own affairs, and the right to go through a fair and just disciplinary board in case of violating internal regulations.
We also offer legal support to victims of violations within the academic community, in addition to working on monitoring and documenting what happens inside the Egyptian universities, and the main administrative, institutional, legal and societal obstacles which adversely affect the climate of rights and freedoms within these universities.
Freedom of Media program
The program seeks to support freedom of the media, state and privately owned, and ensure the independence of its various sectors; print and broadcast. Also, monitoring and documenting professional and administrative authority violations against those working in the various media sectors, and supporting them with direct legal aid to guarantee the legal and security protection they need during their work.
Digital freedoms program
The program is interested in promoting individual rights in access, usage, creation and publishing digital content over computers, electronic devices, software or wired/wireless networks.
Our interest in this field is based on its relation with the other interest fields in AFTE such as Right to know, Freedom of thought and expression, Right to privacy and Media freedom.
Right to know program
The program is interested promoting and ensuring the policies and procedures that protect and lead the right of individuals in freedom of access and circulation of information as a right of fundamental human rights, To achieve that, program focuses mainly on criticizing and developing legislative frameworks , putting alternative visions for restructuring various kinds of the official information agencies. As well as dissemination of societal awareness of the importance of freedom of information and its impact on other rights.
Creativity freedom program
The program is interested promoting the freedom of thought and creativity in Egypt, Whether it was cultural, artistic or literary work, which face interferences and restrictions of state censorship administrative, security and religious authorities or political/community powers.
That is what creates negative atmosphere by limitations and restrictions on creative and artistic abilities in society.
The Memory and Conscience
The program is concerned with promoting and ensuring the right of the individuals and the society to know the truth about the events that have been taking place in Egypt since 2011. This came in response to the consecutive Egyptian governments’ inaction to protect truth and make it available to the public. In addition, their attempts to limit all narratives to their own, which eliminates the plurality of the historical narrative and consequently affects negatively collective memory and conscience, as well as the process of transitional justice and the shaping of the future.