Connect to share and comment

The Middle East, explained

Egypt: Americans could face jail time... for having maps

Egypt's ministry of justice gave a press conference outlining some of the charges against non-profit workers, including 19 Americans. One of the key pieces of evidence? Maps.
Egypt map ngo raid usa 0Enlarge
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) looks at a map of the Israel-Egypt border area during a flight in a military helicopter January 21, 2010 near the Egyptian border, in Israel. Judges investigating non-profits accused of receiving foreign funds in Egypt said one of the key pieces of evidence was the discovery of maps of Egypt inside the NGO offices. (Pool/AFP/Getty Images)

CAIRO, Egypt — Judges leading the high-profile investigation against non-profit workers in Egypt, including 19 Americans, announced today at a press conference some of the evidence they have implicating the organizations they say are guilty of criminal activity here.

One of the key pieces of evidence? Maps. Of Egypt. Scribbled on in English.

What the maps indicated about the alleged criminal activity of at least 43 NGO workers from a smattering of civil society organizations was not revealed by judges Sameh Abu Zeid and Ashraf Al Ashmawy. Although they indicated one of the organizations had plotted the locations of churches and military installations in the country. 

Read more from GlobalPost: Muslim Brotherhood backs crackdown on US nonprofits in Egypt

Foreign journalists and some of the accused NGO employees quipped on Twitter about what appeared to be a dearth of evidence in the investigation that indicts both foreign and domestic non-profits for illegally receiving foreign funds outside government oversight, among other charges.





Members of Congress have already called on the White House to halt aid to Egypt. Sam LaHood, the son of the US Transportation Secretary and director of the International Republican Institute (IRI) here, is also to be sent to trial but is currently hiding out in the US embassy in Cairo.