Egypt to charge 43 over NGOs

Forty-three people, including 19 Americans, face prosecution in an Egyptian criminal court on charges of illegal foreign funding as part of an ongoing crackdown on nongovernmental organizations, a prosecution spokesman said Sunday.

Those referred to court also include five Serbs, two Germans and three Arabs, said Adel Saeed, spokesman for the general prosecutor. The remaining people are Egyptian, he said.

The defendants include Sam LaHood, International Republican Institute country director and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Saeed said.

The defendants were named by an investigation committee created by Egypt’s justice minister, Egypt’s state-run Nile TV reported.

“We have seen media reports that judicial officials in Egypt intend to forward a number of cases involving U.S.-funded NGOs to the Cairo criminal court,” said Mark Toner, deputy spokesman for the U.S. State Department. “We are deeply concerned by these reports and are seeking clarification from the government of Egypt.”

White House 'disturbed' by NGO crackdown

White House ‘disturbed’ by NGO crackdown 00:59

Egyptian authorities carried out 17 raids on the offices of 10 NGOs in late December, but offered no clear explanation for the raids as they happened. A spokesman with the general prosecutor’s office said the raids were part of an investigation into allegations the groups had received illegal foreign financing and were operating without a proper license.

Three U.S.-based organizations operating in Egypt were part of the raids.

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