Authorities Bar 6 Americans From Leaving Egypt

Egyptian authorities are preventing six Americans, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, from leaving the country. They work for non-governmental agencies that were raided by Egyptian security forces last month.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Egyptian authorities are preventing six Americans from leaving the country. They're involved with international rights groups, the sort of groups that Egyptian security forces raided last month, blaming them for causing trouble. One of the people being kept in Egypt is the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. NPR Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson has the story from Cairo.

SORAYA SARHADDI NELSON, BYLINE: Sam LaHood, who heads the Egypt office of the International Republican Institute, was among the Americans kept from boarding flights out of Egypt in recent days. Four Europeans were also prevented from leaving. No reason was given for the travel ban, although Egyptian authorities are investigating whether the institute and other foreign-based groups are operating illegally here. Last month, security forces ransacked their offices around Egypt, carting away computers and documents. Egypt's ruling generals blamed, quote, "foreign elements" for lingering protests and unrest which led to the crackdown. LaHood's organization was among those monitoring recent parliamentary elections here. The targeted groups and Western officials denounced the raids and travel ban as harassment. U.S. Senator John McCain warned that continued attacks on civil society groups could damage the longstanding partnership between the United States and Egypt. And the State Department's top human rights official, Michael Posner, said the actions could affect the more $1 billion in U.S. aid Egypt receives each year. Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, NPR News, Cairo.

Copyright © 2012 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.