From Ahram Online
The jail terms imposed on 43 NGO workers in Egypt have continued to provoke international condemnation. Both the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and Commissioner Stefan Füle criticised the “negative signal” the verdict sends about civil society in Egypt.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, both EU representatives stressed the significant role played by independent groups during Egypt’s transition to democracy and asserted the rights of civil society organisations to “be allowed to operate freely.”
“The EU has been working actively with Egyptian civil society and has developed several highly successful projects which promote universal human rights,” read the statement.
A court in Cairo on Tuesday sentenced 27 NGO workers in absentia to five-year jail sentences. Five defendants, who were in the country, including one American, were sentenced to two years behind bars and ordered to pay fines of LE1,000.
Read more at ahramonline.org