United States criticzes Egypt's move to try NGO workers 2 replies

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Commissar MercZ

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#1 6 years ago

BBC News - Egypt 'to put on trial foreign NGO workers'

Egypt 'to put on trial foreign NGO workers'

Egypt says it is to put on trial 43 people - including Americans and other foreigners - over the funding of non-governmental organisations.

Egypt's ruling military council has accused foreign groups of funding street protests against them.

It has raided the offices of several NGOs and banned a number of foreign staff from leaving the country.

Washington has warned it could review US aid to Egypt unless Cairo respects the rights of NGOs.

State department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the US was "deeply concerned by these reports" and was seeking "clarification" from the Egyptian government.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch called on the Egyptian government to drop the charges against the NGO workers.

"Foreign funding is their lifeline. Egypt's military government is now using the kind of tactics used by Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to silence independent voices," the group said.

The announcement came on a fourth day of violent street protests in Egypt amid anger at the authorities' perceived inability to prevent a riot at a football match last week that left 74 people dead.

Security forces fired tear gas at the thousands of rock-throwing protesters who were marching on the interior ministry in central Cairo. Silencing critics?

Nineteen Americans are among those standing trial.

They are accused of "setting up branches of international organisations in Egypt without a license from the Egyptian government" and of "receiving illegal foreign funding," AFP news agency reports.

The son of US Transport Secretary Ray LaHood is believed to be among those facing criminal charges.

Sam LaHood heads the Egyptian office of the International Republican Institute (IRI) and was among several foreign workers banned from leaving Egypt just over a week ago.

The IRI and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), loosely associated with the US Republican and Democratic parties, were among 17 US-based and local foreign-funded groups whose offices were raided by prosecutors in late December.

Egyptian prosecutors said at the time they were acting on evidence suggesting some groups were violating Egyptian laws, including by not having permits.

But Cairo's action has widely been seen as an attack on free speech and an attempt by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' (SCAF) to silence critics of its attempt to put down ongoing street protests.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated Washington's warning that aid to Egypt - including $1.3bn of military assistance given each year - would be reviewed.

The Associated Press news agency says five Serbs, two Germans and three non-Egyptian Arab nationals are among those facing trial.

This follows an act back late last year when the offices of certain NGO's were raided by the SCAF-led government, acting under suspicions that they were vectors for foreign pressure on Egypt and claiming it was exacerbating the SCAF's issues in reconciliation the population with the current government policies.

It is interesting considering the SCAF is, of all the elements in Egypt, the most interested in retaining the status quo of the past 30 years with respect to foreign policy. But they are as suspicious of foreign intrigue in Egypt as those that have come before them.




emonkies

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#2 6 years ago

Egypt Cabinet Minister Says US Funded Nonprofits To Create Chaos | Fox News

A Egyptian official is accusing the US and the west in general of financing the NGO's for the sole purpose of creating chaos and instability saying they do not like that their Ally Mubarak has fallen so they attempt to keep the Country in turmoil.

I find this unlikely. The US knows as well as anyone else that the chaotic conditions are prime breeding grounds for Al Qaeda and terrorist groups to operate. The US knows that their is zero chance of Mubarak coming back. I do believe the US and the west are trying to promote a democratic government instead of a a dictatorship or a radical Islamic government similar to Iran's.

The US has threatened to cut off military aid worth 1.4 billion dollars. IMHO this wont means squat. All that will happen is China or Russia will move in and sell Su's/J-11's and T-90's/Type 99's and receive M1 Abrams and F-16's in return for test and evaluation.




Commissar MercZ

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#3 6 years ago

Anlushac11;5610389Egypt Cabinet Minister Says US Funded Nonprofits To Create Chaos | Fox News

A Egyptian official is accusing the US and the west in general of financing the NGO's for the sole purpose of creating chaos and instability saying they do not like that their Ally Mubarak has fallen so they attempt to keep the Country in turmoil.

I find this unlikely. The US knows as well as anyone else that the chaotic conditions are prime breeding grounds for Al Qaeda and terrorist groups to operate. The US knows that their is zero chance of Mubarak coming back. I do believe the US and the west are trying to promote a democratic government instead of a a dictatorship or a radical Islamic government similar to Iran's.

The US has threatened to cut off military aid worth 1.4 billion dollars. IMHO this wont means squat. All that will happen is China or Russia will move in and sell Su's/J-11's and T-90's/Type 99's and receive M1 Abrams and F-16's in return for test and evaluation.

It's an odd set of relations between SCAF- which is probably the most pro-US in the country by far, and the US itself. Even during Mubarak's overthrow I don't find it unplausible that the US was aware of the military preparing to remove him and probably assented to it. I think the NGO problem is something that comes up a lot in many nations, particularly those that do wish to have tabs on their civil society, or at least in a way that is responsive to their nation rather than 'ideas' and funding from others.

US will get what they want out of Egypt if the SCAF keep doing what they are doing right now, retaining the Mubarak-era clientele systems and oppressive security apparatus, while making some cosmetic changes to keep people off the streets, at least to the degree that they did last year. Fears of Egypt becoming an radical Islamist hellhole though is rather farfetched, considering the country as it exists right now has to rely on outside relations and contact, due to its trade policy and of course tourism. It wouldn't be able to break from that dependency, much less the people who have benefited from those. Iran has the benefit of oil to be able to deal with the problems of being an 'outcast' state, Egypt won't be able to do the same.