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Debate over SCAF intervention, as assembly grants senior judge confidence vote

By Mai Shams El-Din CAIRO: Judges debated the influence of the ruling military council on the decisions of the Appeals Court one day after its head emerged triumphant following a crisis that would have shrunk his authority. A group of independent judges had urged earlier the general assembly of the Appeals Court to withdraw confidence from …

DNE

Referral of Salafi charity to court means further escalation in NGO case

By Mai Shams El-Din CAIRO: Lifting the travel ban imposed on foreign defendants involved the illicit funding case of civil society organizations seemed to spell a deceleration in the escalating case. But with news of referring five workers in a major Salafi religious NGO to criminal court, the case seems to have been reignited. Five workers …

DNE

Clinton vows civil society push on rights

By AFP WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday vowed to press ahead with support for democracy promotion groups, saying that they play a critical role despite a crackdown in Egypt. Clinton, addressing US ambassadors from around the world who are back in Washington for a group conference, said that civil society groups …

DNE

Court adjourns NGO case to April 10, HRW urges Egypt to drop charges

By Mai Shams El-Din CAIRO: Head of the Cairo Criminal Court, Justice Makram Awwad adjourned until April 10 the trial of non-Egyptian NGOs charged with illicit foreign funding, ordering the Prosecutor General to summon the American defendants who left the country to the next session. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch urged Egyptian authorities to drop the charges …

DNE

Egypt judge delays trial of NGO workers to April

By Reuters CAIRO: An Egyptian judge said on Thursday he was delaying until April 10 the trial of civil society activists including 16 Americans accused of receiving illegal foreign funds and pursuing their pro-democracy activities without a license. The case, which targets groups including the US-funded National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute, has strained Egypt’s …

DNE

Shoura Council slams SCAF, gov’t for allowing NGO defendants to leave country

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: MPs slammed the government and the ruling military council on Tuesday, for their alleged responsibility in allowing non-Egyptian defendants in the NGO trial to leave the country, while cabinet ministers tried to absolve themselves of responsibility before the Shoura Council. Members of the upper house of parliament described the decision to lift …

DNE

Democracy workers from Egypt meet with lawmakers

By Donna Cassata / AP WASHINGTON: American democracy workers who face charges in Egypt of stoking unrest are meeting with congressional lawmakers this week. Four of the workers, including Sam LaHood, met Monday with Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. McCain recently traveled to Egypt where he met with the country’s …

DNE

Did America blink?

By Philip Whitfield CAIRO: Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind — Julius Caesar. No sooner had the deal been done and the keys to freedom handed to …

DNE

Judges file complaint against Appeals Court head for lifting travel ban in NGO case

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Judges and lawyers filed complaints at the Prosecutor General against head of the Cairo Appeals Court Abdel Moez Ibrahim for his alleged responsibility for lifting the travel ban off non-Egyptian defendants in the NGO case. “A number of judges filed a complaint over the past couple of days against Ibrahim and the …

DNE

Parliament to probe ‘interference’ in NGO foreigners travel ban

By Agencies CAIRO: Egypt’s parliament is to probe and “hold accountable” anyone who intervened to allow foreign activists on trial to leave the country, the speaker of the house said on Saturday. Saad Al-Katatni, the speaker of the People’s Assembly, said parliament would summon Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury on March 11 to explain the decision …

DNE

Egypt appoints new judges for NGOs trial, US says relations ‘strong’

By Maggie Michael / AP CAIRO: Egypt has appointed new judges to hear the trial of 43 democracy workers, days after six Americans among those charged left the country with nearly $5 million in bail posted, the state-run news agency reported Saturday. The Middle East News Agency said the first hearing in the new trial will …

DNE

Judges slam developments in NGOs case as violation of independence

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: Lifting the travel ban on the foreign defendants in the NGOs case infuriated citizens and judges, who saw the decision and other developments in the trial as a flagrant infringement on judicial independence. “Lifting the ban on the foreign defendants involved in the NGOs case is a flagrant violation on the state’s …

DNE

Egypt press furious over freeing of NGO suspects

By Ines bel Aiba / AFP CAIRO: Egyptian newspapers angrily accused the ruling military on Friday of caving in to US pressure to allow foreign NGO workers, including a number of Americans, to escape trial on charges of illegal funding. One of them also accused the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) of trashing the …

DNE

US-Egypt tension eases but aid still in question

By AFP WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday signaled an easing in tensions with Egypt after Cairo allowed US democracy activists to leave the country, but said the question over whether to proceed with $1.5 billion in US aid was pending. “We are very pleased that the Egyptian courts have now lifted the travel ban …

DNE

NGO activists in Cyprus after leaving Egypt: airport

By AFP LARNACA: US pro-democracy activists who had been on trial in Egypt were in Cyprus on Friday after flying out of Cairo, an airport official said, following the lifting of a travel ban on them. The activists arrived on a private plane overnight and were due to fly out “soon” the same day, the …

DNE

Plane with US and other activists leaves Egypt; trial continues

By Agencies CAIRO: A plane carrying American pro-democracy campaigners and other activists left Egypt on Thursday after a travel ban was lifted, an airport official said, a move that is likely to defuse the deepest row between Washington and Cairo in decades. “They have left,” the airport official told Reuters, without giving further details. A US …

DNE

Cairo airport told US NGO workers can leave

By Reuters CAIRO: Egypt’s airport authorities have been advised that a travel ban on American pro-democracy activists has been lifted, airport sources said on Thursday, opening the way for defusing a row that has threatened $1.3 billion of US military aid to Egypt. A senior judge and other judicial sources said on Wednesday that Egypt …

DNE

Judges in NGO case faced ‘political pressure’; travel ban on Americans lifted

  CAIRO: Political pressure may be the reason why the panel of judges overseeing the probe against foreign NGOs in Egypt withdrew from the case on Tuesday, experts said. The official Middle East News Agency (MENA) said Wednesday that the panel, headed by Judge Mahmoud Mohamed Shoukry, abandoned the case, expressing “unease” in carrying on …

DNE

US, Egypt lurch into perilous limbo on NGO case

By Andrew Quinn / Reuters WASHINGTON: US hopes for a quick end to its dispute with Egypt over pro-democracy groups have been dashed, stranding both countries in a dangerous limbo as pressures build on a security partnership that is vital to Washington. The Obama administration had hoped the row over Egypt’s raids on US-funded groups and …

DNE

Tough Mubarak-era minister, face of Egypt NGO row

By AFP CAIRO: A career diplomat and minister who survived Egypt’s uprising and three cabinet shuffles, Fayza Aboul Naga is the public face of a diplomatic row with Washington over the trial of democracy activists, including Americans. The international cooperation minister, one of the few remaining ministers from ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s era, has an …

DNE

Clinton: ‘Fluid situation’ in US trials in Egypt

By Matthew Lee /AP RABAT, Morocco: US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says American officials are evaluating the latest developments in the legal case in Egypt against 16 American democracy advocates. An Egyptian court on Sunday delayed the trial until late April. The workers are charged with operating without a license and using illegal foreign …

DNE

Foreign NGOs trial adjourned to April 26

By Heba Fahmy CAIRO: The trial of 43 pro-democracy activists, accused of receiving illegal foreign funding and conducting unlicensed activity, was adjourned to April 26, in the presence of 14 of the defendants. The courtroom broke into chants of “Down with military rule” after the trial was adjourned. Defense lawyers requested to allow them enough time …

DNE

Egypt begins trial of foreign, Egyptian activists

By Agencies CAIRO: Dozens of democracy activists including Americans go on trial in Egypt on Sunday on charges of receiving illegal funding, despite pleas from Washington that the charges be dropped. Judicial sources say the 43 activists who worked with civil society groups, among them 16 American citizens, will stand trial before a Cairo court. …

DNE

Egypt bars American woman from leaving the country

By Aya Batrawy / AP CAIRO: Security officials in Cairo say an American woman facing criminal charges as part of Egypt’s crackdown on foreign-funded pro-democracy organizations has been barred from boarding an international flight. Officials say that Mary Elizabeth Whitehead was trying to board a flight to Germany on Thursday minutes before take off, when Egyptian …

DNE

Egypt state press escalates dispute over US NGOs

CAIRO: Egyptian state-run newspapers escalated a dispute with the United States over an inquiry into civil society groups on Tuesday by splashing across their front pages accusations of an American plan to spread "anarchy" in the Arab country. Based on remarks by a government minister, the headlines marked another low in a crisis between Washington …

DNE

US sees formal charges against activists in Egypt

WASHINGTON: The United States said Wednesday it has obtained a document outlining the formal charges against US citizens working for pro-democracy groups in Egypt. "We now have a formal charging document," State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters at a daily briefing, adding that the document of more than 100 pages in Arabic had been …

DNE

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