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Entries in Nongovernmental Groups (3)

Monday
Feb272012

Egypt Begins Prosecution of Americans on Illegal Fundraising Charges

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of the US National Democratic Institute. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Before a trial that alleges as many as 19 Americans guilty of receiving illegal funding from foreign governments goes too much further in Egypt, the Obama administration is trying to work out a deal with the country.

Even before the trial got underway on Sunday, U.S. and Egyptian officials were discussing ways to work out an equitable solution that won't also affect the $1.3 billion aid package Cairo receives annually from Congress.

The Americans belong to non-government organizations (NGOs), such as the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, which aim to help Egypt transition to a democracy after President Hosni Mubarak was deposed last February.

According to the State Department, the charges brought against the NGOs and 43 pro-democracy activists are fallacious and an attempt to intimidate groups that have issues with the military council currently leading Egypt ahead of elections this spring.

As of now, the charges against the NGOs have widespread support among the population, giving them less of a reason to cut a deal with the U.S.

The prosecution is demanding that the Americans, some of whom sought refuge inside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, be jailed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jan272012

Egypt Preventing US Human Rights Workers from Leaving Country

Egyptian soldiers stand guard in front of a U.S. NGO in Cairo on Dec. 29, 2011. FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- Four weeks after their offices where raided by Egyptian soldiers, 10 or more American and European human rights workers have been forbidden from leaving the country.

One of the "virtual" captives is Sam LaHood, the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

At the time it happened, a spokesman for Egypt's general prosecutor's office said the 17 raids on at least 10 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were in response to accusations that they were allegedly operating without licenses and had taken foreign money illegally.

However, critics contend that the military regime that replaced ousted President Hosni Mubarak one year ago is simply trying to exert its authority over independent groups monitoring its activities.

The three U.S.-based entities were Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

Besides causing an international incident, Egypt is jeopardizing the $1 billion in annual aid that it receives from the U.S.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son was informed by his attorney he is under investigation on suspicion of managing an unregistered NGO and receiving "funds" from an unregistered NGO.

After the President Obama-supported ouster of longtime U.S. ally Mubarak, hard-line Islamists have swept into power in Egypt and elsewhere as part of the so-called "Arab Spring" democratic movement.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec302011

US Responds to Raids of American-Based NGOs in Egypt

FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House was taken aback Thursday by reports that Egypt's military government sanctioned the raids of right groups in Cairo and elsewhere, including three U.S.-based organizations.

A spokesman for Egypt's general prosecutor's office said the 17 raids on at least 10 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) was in response to accusations that they were allegedly operating without licenses and had taken foreign money illegally.

But critics contend that the military regime that replaced ousted President Hosni Mubarak is simply trying to exert its authority over independent groups monitoring its activities.

The three U.S.-based entities were Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute.

In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "This action is inconsistent with the bilateral cooperation we have had over many years."  She added, "We don't think that this action is justified, and we want to see the harassment end, and we want to see the property returned and the staff allowed to proceed as normal."

David Kramer, the president of Freedom House, was more critical of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces -- the military chiefs now ruling Egypt -- saying, "These actions come in the context of an intensive campaign by the Egyptian government to dismantle civil society through a politically motivated legal campaign aimed at preventing 'illegal foreign funding' of civil society operations in Egypt."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio