Potential loss of U.S. aid doesn’t appear to be enough of a threat to force Egypt’s military leaders to drop its probe on nongovernmental organizations.
Egyptian Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri stressed on Wednesday (Feb. 8) that his government will “not back down” on the case it is pursuing against a number of foreign-funded local and international NGOs, including the National Democracy Institute and International Republican Institute.
>> Egypt brings NGOs to court
Ganzouri insisted his government intends to “apply the law” and that he will not be swayed “because of aid or other reasons,” BBC reports. Ganzouri and other Egyptian officials further stressed that the investigations into NGOs in the country is a judicial matter.
The United States, which already has a copy of the formal charging document, disagrees. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the government is currently reviewing the hundred-page document to understand the implications. But Nuland stressed that “our view remains that this is not fundamentally a judicial issue. This is an issue … about the appropriate role that foreign NGOs, and frankly, that Egyptian NGOs should play in supporting a democracy.”
If convicted, the NGO workers could face up to five years in prison, the Washington Post reports.
Read more news on Egypt and development aid online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.