Voices for a Democratic Egypt
Voices for a Democratic Egypt (VDE) is a non-profit organization that promotes democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Egypt. VDE aims to provide a forum for activism and a strong platform and voice for those striving for democratic transformation in Egypt. Recognizing Egypt’s strategic importance and its key role in setting and influencing trends across the Arab world, VDE believes that supporting a democratic transition in Egypt is not only essential for improving the quality of life for all Egyptians, but is also integral to enhancing the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East. We feel that the juxtaposition of succession transitions in both Egypt and the U.S. provides a timely basis for our efforts.
From 2004-2005, Egypt witnessed a revival of political activism and engagement that called for much needed political reform. Since 2005, these voices have largely disappeared from the public sphere. Individual voices remain, but they face increasing repression and operate in a stifling political climate. VDE aims to bring together diverse voices in Egypt, the US and elsewhere for more effective advocacy for democratic values and institutions.
Our mission is to support initiatives and voices – wherever they may be – that call for the following in Egypt:
- restoration and primacy of the rule of law;
- respect for human rights including the freedom of expression and religion;
- protection of civil and political liberties;
- freedom of the media;
- limitations on the power of the executive, by an independent Egyptian judiciary and an empowered legislative branch;
- elections for public office that are free, fair, and contested openly in an environment of political pluralism.
In addition to our own activities, we aim to provide a connection between activists working on the ground in Egypt and influential policy actors elsewhere.