On Tuesday, the Cairo criminal court sentenced 43 defendants to 1 – 5 years in jail over a foreign funding case. The defendants were of American, German and Egyptian nationalities and work in five NGO's that received foreign funding. This case has shed light on foreign civil organisations and institutions operating in Egypt, many of which are not subject to monitoring.
These organisations, which work under many covers serving the purposes of their funders and backers, which are usually intelligence parties or parties with personal goals or projects with limited objectives, were and still are a tool used to destroy and spread chaos in Egypt since the beginning of the revolution. This is due to the fact that there are no parties in the world that grant or give money to anyone else without wanting something in exchange or without a clear and specific goal for the funded party; and any simplification in interpreting this matter would be naïve and foolish.
Since the beginning of the revolution, Egypt has been exposed to an organised attack by what are known as international organisations working in the field of civil society. However, we do not know what these organisations gaining from pumping tens of millions of dollars into familiarising Egyptians, as they say, with the exercise of democracy.
14 members of the organisation known as the International Republican Institute, who were sentenced to jail time, received $22 million from its headquarters in the US, $18 million of which was received in May 2011 alone. The institute used the money for salaries and benefits and the rest was spent on conducting research, studies, forums, polls, workshops and training courses for some of the country's political parties and forces, as well as providing media support to attract voters. These activities were not licensed and are considered a violation of the sovereignty of the Egyptian state, and the results of these activities were continuously sent to the funders to inform them of the Egyptian people's trends after the revolution.
Six other defendants received $18 million from the National Democratic Institute, $ 14 million of which were received during the month of April 2011 alone. Four other defendants established unofficial branches of the Freedom House and received over $ 4 million, while some received 600,000 Euros and others nearly $3 million.
Is it logical to think that these funds were transferred only for the sake of the Egyptians; or did they play a direct role in the spread of chaos that has prevailed in Egypt since the revolution? Moreover, the American ambassador to Egypt has already admitted to pumping $60 million into NGOs in Egypt just months after the revolution.
This chaos in Egypt which is spread by civil society organizations should be subject to control and standards that preserve the country's security and safety. Especially after this sentencing shed light on the process of penetration to which Egypt and its people are subjected, since many of these organizations are nothing but covers for espionage, violations of the society and sabotage of security.
The author is an Egyptian writer. This article is a translation from the Arabic which appeared in Shorouk Newspaper, 6 June, 2013
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.