German FM angered by NGO verdict, Egypt diplomat summoned in Berlin

Ahram Online, Tuesday 4 Jun 2013

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle blasts Egypt ruling against NGO workers, closure of Konrad Adenauer Foundation's Cairo office; Egyptian charge d'affaires in Berlin summoned by German authorities

 German FM
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle speaks during a news conference in New York, June 3, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

In response to Tuesday's court ruling, German authorities summoned Egypt's charge d'affaires in Berlin Hesham Seif El-Din.

State secretary of the German Foreign Ministry Emily Haber warned Seif El-Din that the German government was "extremely concernedabout the verdict.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has condemned Tuesday's verdict against 43 NGO workers, which included German nationals who worked for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).

Twenty-seven defendants, all of whom were tried in absentia, received five-year jail sentences. Eleven received one-year suspended sentences, and five received two-year sentences.

Westerwelle described the sentences as “harsh,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported. 

The court also ordered the closure of five foreign NGOs operating in Egypt and for their funds to be confiscated. These are the US-based Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), and the International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ), and Germany's Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS).

In addition to Germans, 19 Americans, 16 Egyptians, Serbs, Norwegians, Palestinians and Jordanians were sentenced to terms of imprisonment on Tuesday on charges related to their work for foreign NGOs in Egypt.

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