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Egypt To Prosecute 40 For Funding Protests

Hannah Madans |
February 5, 2012 | 3:51 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's son could face trial (courtesy Creative Commons)
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's son could face trial (courtesy Creative Commons)
Egypt’s ruling military council said it would prosecute 40 people in an investigation into nongovernmental organizations receiving foreign money. The military council said protests were being funded against the regime, according to The Daily Beast.

As many as 19 American citizens could be put on trial. They are accused of operating NGO’s without a license. The military council has refused to grant licenses.

“I think the Egyptian military’s handling of this issue has been a disaster,” said Charles Dunne, director for Middle East and North Africa programs for Freedom House to Al Arabiya. “This represents another escalation by the Egyptian government in its war on civil society -- and it’s not just the U.S. organizations, it’s the Egyptian organizations. I find it astounding that they would do this while you still have a delegation of Egyptian general officers here in the United States to talk to the Congress and the administration about continued U.S. military funding.”

The Associated Press reported that among the Americans was Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Sam LaHood is the country director of the International Republican Institute, a pro-democracy organization. It was barred from leaving the country last month and several other Americans are on a no-fly list. At least three of the U.S. citizens under investigation have take shelter in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo under fear of arrest.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton warned that she would review the U.S.’s 1.3 billion aid to the country if the investigation was not resolved quickly.

“We are very clear that there are problems that arise from this situation that can impact all the rest of our relationship in Egypt,” Clinton told the Washington Post. “We don’t want that.”


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