The US State Department has issued an angry condemnation today after the long-standing Egyptian criminal case against 43 NGO workers, including 16 Americans, came through with a guilty verdict.
The case stemmed from arrests a year and a half ago, when several NGOs, including the International Republican Institute (IRI) and National Democratic Institute (NDI), two US government-funded foreign lobbying wings of the two major US parties were caught providing aid to certain undisclosed parties during Egypt’s parliamentary elections without going through the Ministry of International Cooperation.
At the time the US angrily threatened to revoke all aid from Egypt to punish them, and a judge ordered the case dropped, but it quickly reemerged after all but one of the Americans had fled the country.
Secretary of State John Kerry blasted the ruling, insisting that laws regulating the foreign funding of political parties were “incompatible with the transition to democracy.” The NDI said it would have a “chilling effect” on NGOs in Egypt while the IRI claimed it was a “politically-motivated” move.
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