Egyptians Respond to Verdicts, NGOs Still Under Scrutiny
The Associated Press reported Sunday on the scope of U.S. democracy aid to Egypt during the past year. Last October several Egyptians resigned from their positions with the International Republican Institute in protest of what they called undemocratic practices, such as the organization’s exclusion of Islamists from its programs. Documents and interviews the AP obtained, the report says, show that the U.S. chose favorites in allocating tens of millions of dollars for democracy-training programs. Issandr El Amrani downplays the significance of such aid, however, stating that “money and efforts spent trying to support the ‘liberal’ parties is minimal and not very effective.” Robert Becker, the only American remaining in Egypt to face trial for criminal charges brought by Egypt against several American NGOs, will be back in court tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Egyptians continue to respond to the verdicts in the trial of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other former regime figures. On Saturday demonstrators in Cairo protested against the acquittal of security chiefs who were charged in the killings of protesters during the 2011 uprising, and the possibility of Mubarak’s acquittal on appeal, as well. On Sunday a panel of secular revolutionary parties held a press conference to announce a unified position on the verdicts. In their conference the groups made several demands, including the application of the Political Disenfranchisement Law to presidential candidate Ahmed Shafiq, and called on several eliminated candidates to unite “for the sake of the revolution and cooperate to end military rule via the application of public pressure.”