Friday, January 27, 2012

Egypt: Egypt Preventing US Citizens from Leaving

Source: Voice of America

The State Department says U.S. officials are very actively involved in getting Egypt to stop preventing several U.S. citizens from leaving the country.

As many as five Americans, including Sam LaHood – son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, have been stopped from boarding planes for home by Egyptian authorities.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Thursday the Americans belong to international and non-governmental organizations that are working to support Egyptian elections. The voting is aimed at replacing the interim military government with civilian rule.

Nuland says Egyptian judges have questioned the Americans as authorities investigate the NGOs, accusing them of supporting unrest.

She says democratic elections are a new thing for Egyptian bureaucrats and the judicial system, and that officials are slow to adjust. She also says the NGOs support the process and not any individual candidate.

Nuland says U.S. officials urge the Egyptian government to lift the travel restrictions immediately and let the Americans come home as soon as possible.