Egyptian police stormed the offices of at least six western and local democracy and human rights groups that have called for greater transparency and accountability, seizing computers and files and confining some staff inside premises.

Interior ministry forces and judiciary officials under the command of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (Scaf) conducted simultaneous raids yesterday on the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute and Freedom House – both American-based non-profit groups – and numerous Egyptian civil society groups that expose torture, corruption and abuses of power.

“The military police accompanied with one member of the general prosecutor’s office suddenly attacked our office,” said Helmy Rawy, head of the Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory, an organisation that critically assesses Egypt’s military expenditures.

“They took all the documents and all the computers. It’s a new campaign against freedom from the Scaf, against civil society in Egypt. They don’t want anyone to raise their voice for freedom.”

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