(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.
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