TIMEP Brief: Case 173: Egypt’s Foreign Funding Case

Source: The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy

Author(s): TIMEP

Original Link: https://timep.org/reports-briefings/timep-brief-case-173-egypts-foreign-funding-case/

On December 20, 2018, the defendants in Case 173, popularly known as Egypt’s foreign funding case, were acquitted in a widely anticipated retrial. The case dates to 2011, when security personnel raided the headquarters of multiple foreign nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Following prosecution in June 2013, 43 Egyptian and non-Egyptian civil society workers, including 16 Americans, were sentenced to between one and five years in prison on charges of illegally receiving foreign funds and operating without a license. After considerable international controversy and degradation of bilateral relations over the case, in April 2018 the Court of Cassation granted a retrial; in December 2018 all were acquitted. The December 2018 verdict and the court’s reasoning in the case have significant implications for other civil society workers—this time, members of domestic civil society organizations—who have been brought in for questioning, had their assets frozen, and had their names added to travel ban lists in what is commonly referred to as the second phase of the same case, which began in February 2016.

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