CAIRO: Shoura Council member Nabil Louqa Bibawi recently filed a complaint to the public prosecutor under penal code 77-D against democracy advocate Saad Eddin Ibrahim, Ibrahim told The Daily Star Egypt.
Ibrahim has not been yet been officially charged by the state prosecutor with “harming Egypt’s economic interests and “espionage for a foreign state or the representative of a foreign state, to hurt Egypt s reputation – the two claims that Bibawi made.
Al-Ahram daily reported that the complaint cited a meeting between Ibrahim and President Bush in Prague, where they discussed tying US financial aid to improvements in Egypt’s democratic progress and human rights record.
Among the goals that some Egyptian democracy activists are pushing for is the release of opposition politician Aymun Nour. Ibrahim suggested to President Bush that withholding aid is the only way to release him.
In a statement to The Daily Star, Ibrahim said that his push to tie US aid to democracy and human rights was “the immediate reason, or pretext for the complaints brought against him.
He added that these complaints are actions that “regimes like Egypt do to stay unopposed, and were part of larger “attempts to silence [political opposition].
But Bibawi’s complaint criticized the withholding of aid, saying that “cutting back. US assistance to Egypt will hurt the state s budget, which serves the interests of all Egyptians, so it will severely hurt all Egyptians.
The Interior Ministry could not be reached for comment at time of press.
The United States House of Representatives voted on Friday June 22 to withhold $ 200 million in military aid to Egypt, in part in an attempt to stop what it believes are on-going human rights violations in the country.
The foreign aid bill is currently being debated by the Senate, and it remains unknown whether the bill will ultimately be passed to include the cuts.