USA Today Covers Raid of IRI’s Offices in Egypt

Egyptian police raid offices of civil rights groups
USA Today
By Douglas Stanglin

Egyptian police today raided the offices of 18 non-governmental civil rights groups, including two U.S. organizations, in an investigation of foreign funding of so-called NGOs, the Associated Press and Al-Arabiya report, quoting unidentified security sources.

The police required employees of the organizations to stay in the offices while they searched through computers and removed boxes of documents.

Egyptian state television reported at least 18 offices were targeted in the raid, the AP reports.

Relations between the military rulers and the protest movement have been fraught with tension for months, mainly over the military’s handling of the transition, its human rights record and its failure to restore security or revive the economy, the AP says.

At least two U.S. rights groups — The National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute — were among those being searched, the AP says.

The search operations were ordered by the justice officials “following complaints of the NGO’s receiving foreign support,” according to a court official, Al-Arabiya reports.

The head of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Gamal Eid, said an employee trapped inside one of the offices called him to say security forces were removing laptop computers.

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