Concern at raids on Egyptian NGOs
Published 30/12/2011 | 17:42
Britain has expressed concern at a series of raids on non-governmental organisations in Egypt.
Soldiers are reported to have stormed offices across the country, interrogating employees and searching computers.
The development came with tensions running high between the generals who took over from ousted Hosni Mubarak in February, and protesters who led the uprising.
On Thursday a Cairo court acquitted five policemen who had been charged with killing five activists and wounding six others during the 18-day revolt.
Foreign Office minister Jeremy Browne said: "We are very concerned by reports from Cairo of raids on the offices of a number of Egyptian and foreign NGOs which have been supporting the transition to democracy in Egypt.
"Civil society has a vitally important role to play in that transition and should be encouraged and supported rather than impeded.
"We urge the Egyptian authorities to avoid taking any action that would make the democratic process less inclusive or inhibit the positive work of these and similar organisations."