Today U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) issued the following letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging a delay in the release of foreign military financing to the government of Egypt, as well as recommending the U.S. State Department not certify that the Egyptian government is meeting the conditions required to receive U.S. funds.
Below is text of Sen. Paul and Rep. Bachmann's letter:
March 15, 2012
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, District of Columbia 20520
Dear Secretary Clinton:
As you are aware, the Egyptian government continues its crackdown on civil society. Staff of the National Democratic Institute, International Republican Institute, and Freedom House, among other foreign organizations, are scheduled to go to trial April 10, and investigations into about 400 local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) are still underway. For this reason, we urge you refrain from certifying that the Government of Egypt is meeting the conditions codified in the FY 2012 State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs appropriations bill for the release of Foreign Military Financing. We also urge you not to waive these conditions.
A decision to waive the conditions on military aid would send the wrong message to the Egyptian government that U.S. taxpayers will subsidize the Egyptian military while it continues to oversee the crackdown on civil society and to commit human rights abuses. No credible assessment of the situation in Egypt can conclude that the Egyptian government is "implementing policies to protect freedom of expression, association, and religion, and due process of law."
Moreover, the military prosecutor's investigation of 12 leading activists and public figures, the fact that the government of Egypt continues to hold property seized from the NGOs and their staff, and the continued existence of a law prohibiting the operation of NGOs show that freedom of expression and the rule of law are still under threat in Egypt.
We strongly recommend that you delay any decision on certification until domestic and foreign NGOs are allowed to operate freely in Egypt, laws prohibiting the NGOs from operating in Egypt are repealed, the case against Egyptian and international NGOs has been favorably resolved, property seized from the NGOs and their staff is returned, the United States Government is repaid all bail posted to secure the release of NGO staff, and the Egyptian government begins to respect the fundamental rights of its citizens and due process of law.
Senator Rand Paul
Representative Michele Bachmann