Egypt to prosecute NGO workers

Forty foreign NGO workers to be charged and 19 banned from leaving the country.

In December, Egyptian security forces carried out 17 raids on non-governmental organisations which the country's military rulers, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which came to power in recent national elections, claim are responsible for the unrest still plaguing the country a year after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga, a Mubarak regime Minister who retained her post after his ouster, is leading the crackdown on nonprofit groups. On Sunday, she vowed to pursue the issue to the very end. The investigation into the funding issue, she claimed, has uncovered "plots aimed at striking at Egypt's stability."

Egyptian security officials said that among the Americans sent to trial is Sam LaHood, the head of the Egypt office of the Washington-based International Republican Institute and the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Five Serbs, two Germans and three non-Egyptian Arab nationals are also targeted.

The US has threatened to cut AID to Egypt in response.

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