Egypt is bringing criminal charges against at least 40 people, including some Americans, in a move that puts $1.3 billion in US military aid to Egypt at risk.
Egypt is bringing criminal charges against at least 40 people, including some American citizens, over the foreign funding of nongovernmental organizations, sharply raising the stakes in a standoff with the US that has put $1.3 billion in US military aid to Egypt at risk.
The workers at pro-democracy organizations are being charged with operating nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) without licenses from the government and illegally receiving foreign funding, according to state media. The charges carry a sentence of up to five years in prison. The Associated Press reported that 19 Americans would be charged, while a state-owned newspaper said six.
The decision to move forward with prosecutions comes just a day after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Egypt’s foreign minister that Egypt’s crackdown on NGOs could affect US aid to Egypt. The US gives Egypt about $1.5 billion in aid every year, of which about $1.3 billion is military aid. Congress recently imposed conditions on the military aid, requiring the secretary of state to certify that the Egyptian government is supporting a transition to civilian government for the aid to go forward. US officials have said that if Egypt continues the crackdown, those conditions could not be met.