For a full text copy of the backgrounder, click here. For the update to the backgrounder released March 16, 2012, click here.

In early 2012, POMED was deeply troubled by the news that the Egyptian Ministry of Justice would be charging 43 employees of international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with “accepting funds and benefits from an international organization” to pursue activities “prohibited by law” and carrying out “political training programs.” In fact, these groups have worked transparently and in cooperation with Egyptian authorities to help support Egypt’s democratic transition—a goal to which the ruling military council purports to be committed. Sixteen of those charged were American citizens, seriously threatening the future of the U.S.-Egypt relationship.

Given the grave implications of this investigation for U.S.-Egypt relations and the uncertainty surrounding the case, POMED compiled a backgrounder providing an overview of the situation.

The initial report includes:

  • a timeline of events since the investigation was commissioned in July
  • a summary of the charges
  • an examination of the existing Law on Associations (84/2002) and the new draft associations law proposed in January
  • a profile of Minister of International Cooperation and Planning Fayza Aboul Naga
  • responses of targeted organizations
  • statements by U.S. policymakers

The update to the backgrounder, released March 16, 2012, provided additional information from the previous month concerning statements made by U.S. and Egyptian officials, the Egyptian state’s campaign against NGOs, and an examination of the case’s potential impact on U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt.

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Photo credit: Jonathan Rashad, Flickr