February 8th, 2012
02:41 PM ET

Egypt sends U.S. formal charges against NGOs

By Adam Levine

The United States received the formal charging document from the Egyptian government that outlines the case against the staff of pro-democracy organizations, including 16 Americans, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

The Egyptians say the pro-democracy organizations had received illegal foreign financing and were operating without a proper license. But some of the groups had been tacitly operating for some time in Egypt without permission, even under former leader Hosni Mubarak, who was pushed from office in the initial wave of the Arab Spring protests last year.

The report , which Nuland said was between 100 and 175 pages and written in Arabic, was given to the U.S. on Wednesday morning.  It is being translated and reviewed to understand the legal case, implications and what is expected of those charged, Nuland said at a press briefing on Wednesday.

Nuland said that despite the charges, the U.S. does not consider the case truly a judicial one.

"Our view remains that this is not fundamentally a judicial issue. This is an issue between the two governments," Nuland said, saying it is really a disagreement about the "appropriate role" that foreign NGOs should play in supporting a democracy and "ensuring that the environment for their operation is clear, is well understood, and that we have an agreement among us."

"We've been asking to resolve this goverment-to-government," Nuland said. As part of that effort, CNN reported that the top U.S. military official, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey, will be traveling to Cairo later this week to meet with his Egyptian counterparts.

Dempsey will not present any ultimatums to the Egyptian military on the Americans being detained but will suggest that the Egyptians be aware U.S. aid is at risk.

"He will say you have choices and there are consequences to those choices," according to Dempsey's spokesman Col. Dave Lapan.

Of the Americans charged, less than half are still in Egypt. Those who are still in country have been invited to move onto the embassy compound.

 The Egyptian government has not asked for those Americans at  the embassy to be turned over or turn themselves in, although Nuland said there might be instructions in the charging document that they are still reviewing.


Filed under: Diplomacy • Egypt
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. monkey information

    I do trust all the ideas you have introduced in your post. They're very convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    April 9, 2012 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  2. Standoffdistance

    Yes lets blame Obama...that's the answer for everything.....say's the white supremacist. You got to love it... Bush was by far the dumbest president we have ever had and I never seen people so critical..... oh wait President Obama actually cares for the not so rich population of the people of the United States...how dare he!!

    February 9, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  3. Kerry

    One more good argument against getting involved with the Muslims and their problems. Buying friends in those regions is proving a losing battle, one the US cannot afford. Look at Pakistan, a rabid dog, perpetually biting the hand that feeds them.

    February 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
  4. mipolitic

    if obama was strong this would not be happening, as soon as syria was falling into the hands of russia's putin , the 19 americans became detained. for months obama was on tv saying to the syrian people that assad would fall and that the people must fight on for freedom and democracy. a week ago or so when the un was running into putins wall , the 19 americans became detained in egypt. world see obama as a voice of hollow promises much like here at home

    February 9, 2012 at 6:26 am | Reply
  5. helenecha

    I don't think Egyptian government didn't understand that the pro-democracy organizations could have helped Egyptian people living with peps. But the problem is who guaranteed that those organizations were operating on the right track, not to mention Egyptian government is not White House.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  6. simon

    Good on Egypt. If China was funding NGO's in Washington to spread communism and spread communistic doctrine in civil society and "support the american people in a transition to comunnism" etc – would that be fine with you, especially if there was no oversight by the US government and no approval of these groups taking funding from china?

    Why should the egyptians tolerate these NGOs meddling in the affairs of egypt.

    How about letting egypt – which has a very strong civil society, regardless of how its been opressed by the US-backed tyrant Mubvarak – work out its own values and work out its own way of transitioning to whichever political system they as a people decide to choose and implementing it in the way they choose – free of threats or bribes from foreign dictators, such as th US regime.

    February 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  7. JoJo

    Egypt is still under the emergency law which means that Egyptian security can arrest anyone for any reason. They can make a circus out of it if they want to like Mubarak's trial. And besides that information came out from Mubarak trial, someone talked and gave away the information. Supporting democracy, is that a joke?. Egypt will never be a democratic society, its too late for that. If the Egyptian authority are right than they were probably instigators that might have probably financed the revolt.

    February 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  8. James Sullivan

    Get the National Geographic on these Isamlic countries...Go to Yosemite istead. Why do folks want to go to AK-47 Lands... Anyone who goes there deserves CIA affiliation status...stay at home with National Geographic video of the Treasures of the Sahara...you can ride a camel here in the US, without an AK-47 at your back...screw em.

    JIm Sullivan-san francisco, ca USA

    February 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  9. DOWNLOAD MP4/3GP VIDEOS FOR FREE PLEASE NOTE: U MUST BE 18

    The Egyptian government has
    not asked for those Americans at
    the embassy to be turned over or
    turn themselves in, although
    Nuland said there might be
    instructions in the charging
    document that they are still
    reviewing.

    February 8, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  10. Yasser

    I am sorry to say that your correspondent failed you. As journalist, I can tell how biased and irrational his report is. I am not a supporter of the Supreme Military Council, I understand they have done mistakes responding to activists request, and has been accused of killing some protesters, but I do not buy what Ben Wedeman said. It is so silly to believe that Military officers would fake a case against NGOs, running by US personnel, simply because those officers understand that they are risking the US military aid. They are ready to lose other things, but the US aid. They might have not thought that American workers were involved.
    What is even more ridicules is what the State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Ms Victoria said, that despite the charges, the U.S. does not consider the case truly a judicial one. Now, if someone breaks the American law by bringing unrevealed fund to America, running an unregistered institute, working without work permit, would you still accept a petition saying it is government-to-government issue? Of course, Not. If the answer is NO, why Ms. Victoria still insists on considering the case government to government policy? We know the answer, it is the Distorted Morality; you ask people to accept and apply standards that you refuse to apply for yourself. Once more, would the State Department spokeswoman say publicly that they will not consider bringing unrevealed fund to the USA, working without work permit, and running unregistered institute unlawful?
    Despite the inflammatory headline you added, US threatens retaliation if Egypt puts NGO workers on trial , I hope that your workers get fair trial.
    Ben Wedeman is really funny, and Ms State Department is even funnier, please tell Ben Wedeman to try something else, we respect and trust our judicial authority the same way you trust your American Bible of laws.
    Now, what would Ben Wedeman says on the judges press conference?
    I would really appreciate it if you can pass on the following message to Ms. spokeswoman of the State Department: Once she briefs journalists that American workers have to face a trial because they break the law somewhere, the US will resume its respect among people in the World.

    February 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  11. Yasser

    I am sorry to say that your correspondent failed you. As journalist, I can tell how biased and irrational is his report. I am not a supporter of the Supreme Military Council, I understand they have done mistakes responding to activists request, and has been accused of killing some protesters, but I do not buy what Ben Wedeman said. It is so silly to believe that Military officers would fake a case against NGOs, running by US personnel, simply because those officers understand that they are risking the US military aid. They are ready to lose other things, but the US aid. They might have not thought that American workers were involved.
    What is even more ridicules is what the State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Ms Victoria said, that despite the charges, the U.S. does not consider the case truly a judicial one. Now, if someone breaks the American law by bringing unrevealed fund to America, running an unregistered institute, working without work permit, would you still accept a petition saying it is government-to-government issue? Of course, Not.
    Then why Ms. Victoria still insist on considering the case government to government policy? We know the answer, it is the Distorted Morality; you ask people to accept and apply standards that you refuse to apply for yourself. Once more, would the State Department spokeswoman say publicly that they will not consider bringing unrevealed fund to the USA, working without work permit, and running unregistered institute unlawful?
    Despite the inflammatory headline you added, US threatens retaliation if Egypt puts NGO workers on trial , I hope that your workers get fair trial.
    Ben Wedeman is really funny, and Ms State Department is even funnier, please tell Ben Wedeman to try something else, we respect and trust our judicial authority the same way you trust your American Bible of laws.
    Now, what would Ben Wedeman says on the judges press conference?
    I would really appreciate it if you can pass on the following message to Ms. spokeswoman of the State Department: Once she briefs journalists that American workers have to face a trial because they break the law somewhere, the US will resume its respect among people in the World.
    What is even more ridicules is what the State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. Ms Victoria said, that despite the charges, the U.S. does not consider the case truly a judicial one. Now, if someone breaks the American law by bringing unrevealed fund to America, running an unregistered institute, working without work permit, would you still accept a petition saying it is government-to-government issue? Of course, Not.
    Then why Ms. Victoria still insist on considering the case government to government policy? We know the answer, it is the Distorted Morality; you ask people to accept and apply standards that you refuse to apply for yourself. Once more, would the State Department spokeswoman say publicly that they will not consider bringing unrevealed fund to the USA, working without work permit, and running unregistered institute unlawful?
    You are funny..please tell Ben Wedeman to try something else, we respect and trust our judicial authority the same way you trust your American Bible of laws.
    With the Press conference of the

    February 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  12. mipolitic

    putin is spinning obamas team in circles, what next ? if only iran nuke threat was destroyed swiftly, the games would all fade away under the resolve of obamas defiance to putins false influence. the only reason why iran and putin are players is because of obamas inaction. iran and putin are now being given power by obama allowing the threat to stand and not shutting the games down. iran and putin have no power they are being giving power because of inaction.

    February 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply

Leave a Reply to Yasser


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.