More disaster emerging
from the results of the Arab pseudo-spring:
The United States expressed deep concern over Egyptian police raids Thursday on several non-governmental organizations, including three U.S.-based pro-democracy groups.
Egyptian authorities said the raids were conducted as part of an investigation into alleged foreign funding of the groups, many of which help train political parties to participate in the democratic process. But rights activists said the targeting of civil society groups is the latest ominous sign of Egypt's military rulers resisting transition to democratic governance while blaming others for their misrule. [...]
Egyptian uniformed and plains-clothes police on Thursday stormed the Cairo offices of National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, Freedom House, Germany-based Konrad Adenauer Siftung, the Arab Center for Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, and the Budgetary and Human Rights Observatory. They seized documents and laptops in the raids, isolating NGO staff in their offices, and later sealed the offices, observers on the scenes and representatives of the organizations said. [...]
Raided groups called the action unprecedented, comparing it to the authoritarian rule of Egypt's ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak.
"The raids today represent an escalation of repression unheard of even during the Mubarak regime," said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House, in a statement sent to Yahoo News. The actions are "the clearest indication yet" that Egypt's military rulers have "no intention of permitting the establishment of genuine democracy and [are] attempting to scapegoat civil society for its own abysmal failure to manage Egypt's transition effectively."
The "raid is confusing given that IRI was officially invited by the Government of Egypt to witness the people's assembly elections," IRI said in a statement sent to Yahoo News. "It is ironic that even during the Mubarak era, IRI was not subjected to such aggressive action."
Staff members of the raided organizations were "warned from using their cell phones, laptops and computers; and are being isolated from contact with the outside world," said Ehab Monir, executive secretary of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, in an alert sent to Yahoo News. "The storming of NGO offices is an unprecedented move in the recent history of Egyptian NGOs."
Middle East experts also noted the apparent hypocrisy of the prosecutor's rationale that the groups were allegedly being investigated for receiving foreign funding, given that a large chunk of the Egyptian government's budget comes from foreign governments, including $1.3 billion in mostly military aid from the United States.
A budget that must cease being funded, and soon. This is just one more sign of Egypt's trudging into the darkness of a sharia-run regime.
Labels: Egypt, islam, United States