Transportation Secretary's Son Sentenced to 5 Years in Egypt

Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood’s son, Sam Lahood, has been convicted and sent to prison in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood regime led by Mohammed Morsi has ruled that Lahood may spend up to five years in prison for receiving foreign funds, supposedly to foment unrest in Egypt. The non-profit group of which Lahood was a part was allegedly working on democracy training, a no-no in repressive Egypt.

The verdict ordered all non-profits of this sort to be closed, and the assets seized. The organizations include Freedom House, the National Democratic Institute, and the International Republican Institute. Lahood was sentenced in absentia. There were 43 total defendants, 27 of whom got the maximum five-year jail term.

Secretary of State John Kerry said that the ruling “contradicts the Government of Egypt’s commitments to support the role of civil society as a fundamental actor in a democracy and contributor to development, especially at this critical stage in the Egyptian people’s democratic transition.”

The United States sends hundreds of millions in aid to Egypt every year.



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