Egypt, US in Talks Over Activists Case

Posted February 25th, 2012 at 7:00 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. officials say the Obama administration is in “intense discussions” with Egypt to resolve the issue of dozens of democracy activists, including 16 Americans, due to go on trial on Sunday.

The Americans are among 43 activists who are accused of receiving illegal funds from abroad and carrying out political activities unrelated to their civil society work.

The case has raised already high tensions between Cairo and Washington and came as the U.S. is attempting to establish better ties with the military council that took power last year following the ousting of former president Hosni Mubarak.

The Americans accused in the case have been banned from leaving Egypt after some of them left the country, and others have taken refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. Among those accused is Sam LaHood, Egypt director of the International Republican Institute and son of the U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The remaining suspects include Germans, Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians.

Washington has warned that going forward with the trial could prompt a cut to Cairo's $1.3 billion in annual U.S. military aid.