Posted by on June 04, 2013 in Blog
Contact: Omar Tewfik at (202) 652-4988
The Arab American Institute (AAI) expresses its deep concern with today’s decision by the Cairo Criminal Court to convict in absentia 43 non-governmental organization's (NGOs) staff who were working with partners in Egypt to strengthen civil society. Of the sixteen Americans convicted, three were Arab Americans, including AAI alumni Sam LaHood and Natasha Tynes.
This move to target and criminalize efforts that seek to facilitate Egypt’s democratic aspirations is clearly a provocative step that undermines Egypt’s standing in the world.
As AAI stated in December 2011 when the NGOs’ offices were raided under orders from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, this effort to quash civil society activity in Egypt is shameful and hurtful to democratic-minded Egyptians and to U.S.-Egypt relations.