(JTA) — An Egyptian court convicted 43 employees of NGOs in Egypt, including 19 Americans, of using foreign funds to incite violence in the country.
The workers were convicted Tuesday and sentenced to jail terms of one to five years and fines. Most of the American workers, including Sam LaHood, the son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, had already left the country.
Sam LaHood worked as director of the Egyptian program for the International Republican Institute, a nongovernmental organization with close ties to the Republican congressional leadership.
The verdict also ordered the closure and seizure of the offices and assets in Egypt belonging to the nonprofit groups. Along with LaHood’s group, the other American NGOs are the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a center for training journalists.
The crackdown on the groups, which also included Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation, began in December 2011 while Egypt was under military rule following the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.