AFP: Egypt Files Formal Charges Against Pro-democracy Workers

US receives formal charges against NGO members in Egypt
Agence France Presse

The United States said Wednesday it has been notified by the Egyptian authorities of the formal charges against US citizens working for pro-democracy groups in Egypt.

“We now have a formal charging document,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the daily news briefing, adding that the document of more than 100 pages in Arabic was received several hours ago.

By the time of the briefing, “we were still working through it, both as a translation issue and as a legal matter, to understand exactly what is expected in this charging document of individual Americans,” Nuland said.

Egyptian judicial sources said Sunday that Egypt would try 44 people, including 19 Americans, over the alleged illegal funding of non-government organizations promoting Egypt’s fledgling democracy.

Several of the Americans had previously been banned from leaving the country.

Cairo prosecutors in December stormed the offices of the US-funded International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House as part of a probe into allegations of illegal foreign funding.

They were among 17 offices of local and international NGOs raided. The crackdown was part of a wider campaign by Egypt’s military rulers to silence dissent after months of criticism of its human rights record, analysts said.

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