POMED Update: The Campaign Against NGOs in Egypt
In response to the ongoing crisis in Egypt concerning the raid of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the ensuing trial involving NGO workers, POMED has released an updated backgrounder on the issue. On February 10, 2012, POMED released an initial backgrounder covering the issue. Since that time, the travel ban on foreign employees has been lifted and most have returned to their respective homes. However, the crisis remains far from resolved. The charges against these individuals remain in place, and the presiding judge has ordered the foreign NGO workers to return to Egypt for the resumption of the trial on April 10. Other concerns have arisen: the lifting of the travel ban has caused outrage in the Egyptian community over the appearance of interference in the Egyptian judiciary, and the workers of as many as 400 NGOs in Egypt that were listed within the Ministry of Justice’s report live with the constant fear of raids and arrests.
In addition, the US government is in the process of finalizing important decisions concerning military assistance to Egypt: the US FY2012 budget requires certification that the Egyptian military is supporting a transition to a civilian, democratic government. With the crackdown on civil society as well as other alarming occurrences in mind, the Obama administration must consider that delivering this aid under the current circumstances could signal to Egyptians that the U.S. is only concerned about the security of its own citizens, rather than the broader democratic transition, confirming their worst suspicions.
While the NGO issue has received less attention since the travel ban was lifted on March 1, there is still much at stake. With the trial for the NGO workers set to resume on April 10 and the administration finalizing its decisions regarding military assistance, POMED has compiled a followup to the first backgrounder with the facts on recent developments.
This report includes:
- Timeline of events since POMED’s last report on February 10, 2012
- An overview of the state media campaign against NGOs
- Examination of the NGO issue’s potential impact on FY12 U.S. Assistance to Egypt
- Statements from Egyptian policymakers
- Statements from U.S. Officials
The full document is available to view or download as a PDF on our website.