Egypt NGOs: Probe meant to cover government failure

February 15, 2012 19:26

CAIRO - The Egyptian government's campaign against civil society groups, including US-based organizations, amounts to an attempt to divert public attention from the failures of the military-led authorities, leading civil society groups said on Wednesday.

In a statement, 29 Egyptian groups, including human rights organizations, said they were being subjected to a scare campaign by the authorities, who have brought charges against 43 foreign and local activists who include 19 Americans.

The probe has triggered a crisis in ties between Washington and Cairo that could endanger $1.3 billion in annual US military aid to Egypt. Escalating the row on Tuesday, state-run newspapers splashed accusations of a US plan to spread "anarchy" in Egypt.

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