Earlier this week, members of the US Congress wrote to Egypt President Mohamed Morsi urging him not to enact the new draconian anti-NGO and reminded him of his own public statements from just over one year ago:

… In countries all over the world, including here in the U.S., independent civil society organizations are integral to the creation and maintenance of vibrant and strong democratic systems. Independent civil society, free of government interference, is one of the fundamental checks and balances necessary for building a healthy democratic society. It is therefore crucial that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are able to function in countries in transition, as well as in established democracies.

Morsi presser2

In December 2011, as Chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, you stated that “(t)he FJP supports immediate lifting of restrictions on the establishment and registration of NGOs, so interested groups can work legally and transparently…(i)ndeed, Egypt needs the support of NGOs especially in the areas of human development, education, technology transfer and public administration.”

 

… Rather, it is our hope that your government will enact an NGO law that allows international and Egyptian civil society groups to play a constructive role in the transition to democracy, freely and without interference, as they work to expand respect for human rights and help the Egyptian people in their efforts to form a more just, open, and equitable political system… – US Congressman Edward Royce and Eliot Engel

Remember Mr. President?