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Bloomberg News Covers Raid of IRI's Offices in Egypt

December 29, 2011

Egyptian Security Forces Raid Offices of NGOs in Cairo
Bloomberg News
By Mariam Fam

Egyptian security forces raided the offices of non-governmental organizations as part of an investigation into 17 groups for alleged illegal foreign funding “and associated crimes,” the state-run Middle East News Agency said.

The places targeted include the Cairo office of the Washington-based National Democratic Institute. “They are clearing out all of our documents and computers,” Lila Jaafar, a program director for the organization, said by telephone during the raid.

Egypt’s military rulers, who took over from former President Hosni Mubarak after he stepped down in February, have been accused of using excessive force against protesters during recent demonstrations, a charge they deny. The army, which has accused “foreign hands” of fomenting unrest in the country, has come under renewed pressure from protesters to hand over power to civilians.

“This is a campaign that has been in the making for a while,” Gamal Eid, a human rights lawyer, said by telephone. “The campaign will escalate to silence all the voices that have criticized violations by the military.”

A Cairo court today acquitted five police officers of charges of killing protesters during the anti-Mubarak revolt that started in January, Mena reported, in a move likely to anger protesters who have been demanding punishment for those behind the killings.