Thursday, March 8, 2012

Al-Jazeera Video: Egyptians stuck in "political" NGO crackdown

"Yehia Ghanem had not even spent a day on the job as a consultant for the US-based International Center for Journalists when he found himself wrapped up in a high-profile government investigation into the foreign funding of civil society groups in Egypt.

Now Ghanem and 13 other Egyptians are on trial, facing charges of operating without license and illegally receiving foreign funds. And they're on their own: the 13 Americans and other foreigners who had been charged and banned from leaving Egypt were abruptly allowed to fly out of the country on March 1 after the United States negotiated a deal with the Egyptian government. Only one American voluntarily remained.

That disappointed Ghanem, who hoped the foreign defendants would shine a light on what he says is the unfair prosecution, and it has incensed many other Egyptians who view the deal as an embarrassment and an infringement on the judiciary's independence.

Al Jazeera's Sherine Tadros reports from Cairo."

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