Washington, D.C.— IRI President Mark Green testified today before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa on Egypt.
Addressing the subcommittee, Ambassador Green emphasized that human rights and democratic norms in Egypt have continued to deteriorate despite the continuation of substantial U.S. funding.
“Egypt’s refusal to permit U.S. assistance has caused a backlog of unspent funds in the hundreds of millions,” Ambassador Green commented. “A large portion of these funds can clearly be better utilized elsewhere—for example, in Tunisia, where significant democratic strides are being made and deserve additional support.”
Ambassador Green condemned the crackdown on dissent in Egypt, including the growing number of laws restricting free speech and assembly, and widening restrictions on international organizations.
He also addressed the politically-motivated convictions of 43 staff from IRI and four other organizations by Egypt in 2013. Many of these individuals were punished in absentia with lengthy prison sentences. “Far from working to resolve this blight on the U.S-Egypt bilateral relationship, Egypt is widening the so-called ‘foreign funding trial,’” said Ambassador Green.
In addition to recommending the reallocation of some of the unused funds committed to Egypt, Ambassador Green urged continued support for democratic actors inside Egypt. He advocated that U.S. government officials continue to raise the “foreign funding” case with Egyptian officials, and insist upon the full pardon of every individual wrongly convicted in 2013.Top