The crackdown came after EIPR officials met with Western ambassadors in Cairo, the rights group said on Wednesday.
Egyptian security forces arrested the group’s chief executive, Gasser Abdel-Razek, on Thursday from his home in Maadi, a suburb of Cairo.
The EIPR tweeted Thursday that forces had taken Abdel-Razek to an unknown location.
His arrest comes after Egyptian security forces detained two other EIPR officials on Wednesday.
Karim Enara, head of the group’s criminal justice department, was arrested on Wednesday while on holiday in Dahab, a coastal city in South Sinai, the group said. His whereabouts and the charges he faces are unknown.
The crackdown on the EIPR comes after a meeting on November 3rd with the rights group with European ambassadors in Cairo. The EIPR called the arrest an “unprecedented escalation” on Wednesday.
EIPR posted photos on Twitter of its meeting with German, French, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Belgian, Dutch, Finnish and Swiss ambassadors. The meeting also included British and Canadian diplomats and focused on “human rights issues, as well as ways to help strengthen human rights in Egypt and worldwide,” the EIPR said.
The EIPR advocates for personal and religious rights against the death penalty and publishes an investigation into prison and human rights violations in general.
These positions make him vulnerable in Egypt, where in recent years the government has closed and restricted the travel of thousands of dissidents, political activists, journalists, protesters and human rights defenders.
Egypt has also tightened restrictive laws governing the work of NGOs and the media.
The arrests “deal a severe blow to the legitimate work of human rights defenders,” Amnesty International said in a statement, adding that the charges against Bashir were “false accusations of terrorism.”
The French Foreign Ministry also expressed deep concern over Bashir’s arrest, saying France intended to continue its “frank, demanding human rights dialogue with Egypt”.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry dismissed the French statement as interference in the interior, saying it was an “attempt to influence investigations” in an ongoing case.
“The Egyptian Personal Rights Initiative is registered as a company while pursuing other activities in violation of the provisions of [the] law, “Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said in a statement.
Several Egyptian media outlets, largely controlled by security agencies, published articles coinciding with arrests accusing the EIPR and other Egyptian human rights groups of treason and inciting chaos during pro-democracy protests in 2011 to tarnish Egypt’s image. .