4 July 2012

Egypt: North Cairo Criminal Court Postponed the NGOs Foreign Finance Lawsuit to September

press release

On July 4, 2012, North Cairo Criminal Court postponed the lawsuit no. 1110, year 2012, Kasr Al Nile, known as NGOs foreign finance lawsuit, to September 9, 2012, for hearing additional witnesses.

The lawsuit includes 43 political and human rights activists, among them are 19 Americans, 2 Germans and 16 Egyptians. The activists belong to International Center for U.S. reporters, Freedom House, IRI and NDI from America and Konrad Adenauer from Germany. The political and human rights' activists were charged with operating unlicensed branches of international foundations in Egypt.

The defending lawyers were Negad Al Borai, the head of the United Group for Legal Advising and Hafez Abu Seada, the head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR).

Ambassador Marwan Zaki, manager of the Egyptian Minister for Foreign Relation's Office, within his testimony said that "the US congress allocated amounts of money for financing activities of civil society organizations in Egypt, but the Egyptian government conditioned having proper legal status before using the allocated money for costing activities in Egypt". "the Egyptian and American governments specified the rules of financing civil society organizations in Egypt since 2004. The Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs did not take any action against the US NGOs violating the Egyptian American agreement of 2004 in order not to negatively affect the US aids." The ambassador added.

By the end of the testimony, the ambassador stated that the Egyptian Ministry for Foreign Affairs did not notify the American organizations concerning violating the agreement of 2004.

The witness affirmed knowing that there was a letter sent by Ambassador Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian foreign minister at that time to his U.S. counterpart Colin Powell to announce that the Egyptian government accepts funding of non-governmental organizations, after provided notice to the Egyptian counterpart on the projects that have been funded.

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