Police in Egypt raided 17 NGO offices on Thursday, including those of two U.S.-based organizations that apparently made the list because of a Mubarack-era ban on foreign interference in local politics. The raids follow an investigation into alleged violations of a law that the new government had said it would repeal, and which former president Hosni Mubarack used to control pro-democracy advocates The Guardian reported.
As police stormed the U.S. National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, they snatched documents, computers, and even history books, according to a NDI staffer's tweets, The Guardian reported. Staffers have apparently been locked into the offices while police carry out their raids. According to Reuters, the U.S.-based groups operate programs to train political parties. But the Egyptian public prosecutors office says it's investigating whether they received foreign funding to do local politicking, which would be a violation of Egyptian law. The Guardian reports that "in recent months, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has accused local non-governmental organizations of receiving money from abroad, and has argued that the recent unrest in the country is by 'foreign hands'."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.