Reports of the Egyptian government blocking employees of non-governmental organizations, including American citizens and the son of a U.S. Cabinet secretary, from leaving the country drew sharp criticism from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who said Thursday that the matter was of “special personal concern.”
McCain called on the Egyptian government to cease its “harassment” of the NGOs and warned that the aggressive investigations “could set back the long-standing partnership between the United States and Egypt.”
“I have watched with growing alarm and outrage how the Egyptian government is treating U.S. non-governmental organizations that are working peacefully and transparently to support civil society in Egypt,” McCain said in a statement.
The top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain is also chairman of the International Republican Institute, whose members, including Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, have been barred from leaving Egypt.
“It is worrying enough that Sam and his fellow NGO workers have been singled out by name in Egyptian state-owned media; it is outrageous that these individuals would be held against their will by Egyptian authorities and prohibited from leaving the country.”