Los Angeles Times:

… The case has marked the worst diplomatic clash between the U.S. and Egypt in decades. Egypt’s military-backed interim government has accused some nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, of operating without licenses and receiving illicit funding…

 

… Egypt has accused the NGO workers of plotting to provoke unrest following the uprising that forced Hosni Mubarak from power last year. The agencies mainly worked on pro-democracy and civil society programs ahead of Egypt’s parliamentary elections, which ended in January…

 

The tension eased in March when Egypt allowed the Americans to depart the country, ending the likelihood they would return for trial. Six Americans left. But Becker, a National Democratic Institute employee who taught Egyptian activists and political parties how to campaign, chose to stay behind with the Egyptian defendants…

 

The evidence “against us doesn’t match what we were doing,” Becker told The Times. “It doesn’t match what we did. … This is a demonization of NGOs.”