IRI Refutes Continued Misrepresentations about its Work in Egypt

January 2, 2012
 
Cairo, Egypt – There continue to be public misrepresentations regarding the nature of IRI's activities in Egypt.
 

IRI respects the sovereignty and laws of Egypt and seeks to operate in full accordance with Egyptian law.  IRI applied for registration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in June 2006 and was told its application was complete at the time it was submitted.  In the period from 2006-2011, IRI has repeatedly sought to work with Egyptian authorities to acquire registration and in the process has kept authorities fully informed of its activities.

IRI does not provide monetary or material support to Egyptian political parties or civic groups, and the Institute’s work is carried out in an open and transparent manner.  As IRI has repeatedly shown the Egyptian government, its program provides technical skills trainings, based on a wide range of international experiences, on the long-term development of political parties and civil society.  IRI’s work with Egyptian civil society supports nonpartisan voter education and civic engagement with the goal of enhancing democratic participation and does not interfere with or influence the outcome of elections.  

IRI’s program is funded by two agreements, beginning this year totaling $9 million annually from the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.  IRI’s program constitutes just over one-half of one percent of total U.S. annual assistance to Egypt and is undertaken with the full knowledge of the U.S. executive and legislative branches of government.  Detailed information about IRI’s funding and the nature of its work has been previously shared with the Egyptian government.  In fact, IRI had sent international witnesses for the first two phases of Egypt’s historic people’s assembly elections at the invitation of the government of Egypt, which noted in a letter dated November 19, 2011, “There is no reason not to allow IRI to assess the elections.”

IRI had understood that it could return to its offices, gain access to equipment and records, obtain long-sought registration, and without intimidation and harassment resume programming in support of Egypt’s democratic transition.  That understanding should be implemented.

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