the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden on Egypt NGO Trial Verdicts and Sentences

The United States is deeply concerned by the verdicts issued today by an Egyptian court against representatives of non-governmental organizations in what was a politically-motivated trial.  The court’s decision undermines the protection of universal human rights and calls into question the Government of Egypt's commitments to support the important role of civil society.  Civic groups, including international non-governmental organizations, play a key role in successful democracies.  They are critical to advancing freedoms, supporting universal human rights, and acting as appropriate checks on the government.  We urge the Government of Egypt to protect the ability of these groups to operate freely, including by ensuring that the civil society law under consideration by the Shura Council conforms with international standards, and by working with international and domestic civic organizations to ensure they can support Egypt's transition to democracy.