Monday, 6 February 2012

Egypt to put foreign nationals on trial

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) has said it is going to put some 43 foreign nationals on trial for funding non-government organisation in their protests against the military.
It has raided offices of several NGOs and banned a number of foreign company employees leaving the country. The US, whose national are among those in question, said that Washington could review US aid to Egypt unless Cairo respects human rights.

A spokeswoman for US state department Victoria Nuland said the US was "deeply concerned by these reports" and was seeking "clarification" from the Egyptian government.

Human Rights Watch has also called on SCAF to drop the charges and take heed of human rights. The group said: “Foreign funding is their lifeline. Egypt's military government is now using the kind of tactics used by Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to silence independent voices."

The revelation followed several days of violent street protests, which SCAF seemingly failed to keep in check and which claimed 74 lives.

According to AFP news agency the foreign nationals in question stand accused of "setting up branches of international organisations in Egypt without a license from the Egyptian government" and of "receiving illegal foreign funding".

Egyptian prosecutors said they were going on evidence suggesting some groups were violating the country's laws.

Sources: AFP, BBC News, AP

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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