NGO Office Break Ins

Many civil society groups are concerned about the lack of investigations when NGOs offices are broken into. In 2017, there was a rise in break ins at NGO offices, which has continued. Over 10 break ins were reported in 2017, but this fits in with a larger trend in the break in and thefts at civil society offices. The NGOs warned that if the break ins continue without investigations, that it shows that the government is complicit in the acts. The government has not been arresting or prosecuting any individuals in relation to the office break ins. One of the agencies that reported a break in was ISIS-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange. They reported that the culprits stole computer hard drives. Another office that reported a break in was that of the Human Rights Awareness Forum. In that attack, two of their security guards were injured by the machete wielding assailants.

In 2017, there was also an unprecedented attack on civil society by the security forces. Four civil society offices were raided by the state security forces, confiscating property and detaining the workers for many hours.

This past March, the offices of Chapter Four were broken into. In that attack, the robbers stole a desktop computer from the reception area. They tried to go into other parts of the offices, but were driven away by security alarms. In a statement Chapter Four said: “We note with concern that this is not an isolated incident. In the past few years, over 40 NGO office break-ins have been reported and they largely remain unresolved despite repeated calls for the government to ensure swift and transparent investigations to end the attacks. It is important that all NGO office break-ins be conclusively investigated and the assailants be charged in courts of law.”