Tuesday, June 4, 2013

#NGOTrial : Another bad news for #Egypt

Today the Cairo Criminal court has ended the first chapter of the NGO trial in Egypt and it was not a good end at all.
The criminal court sentenced 43 NGO workers between 2 to 5 years in jail ordering at the same the closure of 5 foreign NGOs in Egypt. Twenty seven defendants got 5 years jail sentences in absentia. Those 27 who were smuggled/escaped in some shady unknown deal between the US and SCAF in March 2012.
Eleven workers received one year suspended sentences and five received two years jail sentences. The convicted included 19 Americans, 16 Egyptians, as well as Germans, Serbs, Norwegians, Palestinians , Lebanese and Jordanians.
Robert Becker who works in NDI and refused to leave Egypt last year like the the rest of the Americans in the case left Cairo and headed to Italy in exile by the request of his lawyers.
Becker knew the verdict while watching his own trial in some Cairo Café. Becker will return after his appeal.
By the way some of the NGO workers are on twitter and you can follow them like Rawda Ahmed , Hafsa Halwa , Sherif Mansour and Bassem Fathy 
The court has also ordered the closure of 5 foreign NGOs :  US Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), and Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).
Amazingly the maps of the so-called divided Egypt and other National security documents leaked to the media were not included in the case in front of the trial. The NGOs workers are going to appeal.
Interestingly the court informed the Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for the other foreign convicted NGO workers including Sam LaHood, the son of the current US secretary of transportation Ray LaHood.
It is just sad because NGOs played an extremely important role in Egypt when it comes to development and foreign funding played a role in this. What is even more sadder is how the Egyptian NGOs workers and employees are being punished in this way.
Those Egyptian women and men may not find a job in Egypt easily when they are officially convicted in a political case like this.
Of course the world is not stupid , it understands what happened and is happening.
You must know that this was the trick of the old Mubarak’s regime , to let those NGOs to work without any licensing in order to close those organizations whenever they are crossed the red line . It happened before with TV channels like Orbit, Dream TV and Al Jazeera Mubshar Misr.
Of course it is worth to mention that the Muslim brotherhood is walking on the same path like Mubarak regime and SCAF.
This is another setback to human rights in Egypt and actually it will not encourage people to come to the country or invest in it. I believe this verdict will also be a setback in the relation between the United States and the Muslim brotherhood as well EU and the Muslim brotherhood.
Here is the National security council in the United States expresses its concern regarding the NGO trial’s verdict. The US department of state also issued a statement about the trial. Senator McCain slammed the verdict too. I wonder when Essam Haddad will take the first plane to Washington D.C to put the blame on SCAF, the army, the judiciary and Mubarak’s regime.
The German ministry of foreign affairs summoned the Egyptian charge d'affaires earlier today.  The minister of foreign affairs expressed his extreme anger from the verdict.
There will be another chapter in the NGO trial and that’s appeal.
By the way I remember that last year when the witch hunt started against the NGOs , there were reports about how Salafist NGOs got millions from the Gulf without the knowledge of the government.

4 comments:

  1. I have always found it curious to say the least, that originally the American NGO people including LaHood, were all flown out of Egypt at the expense of the American taxpayers. If it was truly a Non-Government Organization, why was the government involved?

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  2. This will alienate Egypt further from Europe and the US and investors and tourists from there will be even more reluctant to come. I wonder whether they will go on providing any financial aid. I know one of the foreigners who was a true friend of Egypt, but now he does not like us anymore. :(

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  3. Zeinobia: I do not know if you are aware that there was a concern by those in power in Egypt in late 2011 that NGO's in Egypt were building legal cases against Tantawi and SCAF and Amn al-Dawla about crimes committed against Egyptians by Amn al-Dawla and the military and that these NGO's will take the evidence to the International Court at the Hague. And there must have been a secret deal between Tantawi and Morsi that if he leaves in peace Morsi will do the best he can to protect him from any legal problems in the future

    But again the leaders in Egypt live in the past and they have no clue that the world is watching and if I'm a Copt I will take these murderers to the International Court for the atrocity at Maspero

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  4. The answer to this despicable act is simple: American and German tourists shall boycott Egypt!

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