Washington D.C. – Senator Rubio today released the following statement regarding the sentencing of 43 Egyptian and foreign employees of non-governmental organizations in Egypt.
“I am deeply concerned about today’s action by an Egyptian court to sentence 43 Egyptian and international employees of non-governmental organizations, including 17 Americans, to jail sentences. These politically motivated prosecutions of individuals doing nothing more than attempting to assist Egypt as it moves down the path toward democracy will only serve to undermine the progress that Egypt has made since 2011. The court’s order that several of the organizations, including the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and Freedom House cease operations in Egypt also raises concerns about how the United States and other countries can continue to assist Egypt as it transitions from military rule, given that these are some of the premier international organizations that focus on democratic training, the building of civil society, and establishment of the rule of law.
“I call on the Obama administration to make clear to the Morsi government that this action, as well as other recent cases of political persecution of those criticizing the government, including a deeply flawed draft civil society law, and attempts to limit freedom of assembly and freedom of religion will negatively impact U.S.-Egyptian relations.
“I will be working with my colleagues in the coming weeks to introduce comprehensive legislation that would ensure that U.S. assistance to Egypt reflects our values as well as our interests. We need to be careful not to undermine the significant cooperation between the U.S. military and the Egyptian Armed Forces, but we cannot continue to blindly throw U.S. taxpayer dollars at a government that almost every day is taking actions that will only prevent the democratic aspirations of the Egyptian people from being fulfilled and undermine Egypt’s long-term success.”