The Guardian: Hafsa Halawa, a British-Egyptian, was given a suspended 12-month term after returning to Cairo for her job at a US NGO

… The 43 had taught parliamentary candidates how to campaign, or monitored poll counts. But that day investigators claimed they were foreign spies, and sought to jail them on an administrative technicality. Previously an MP had called for them to be executed…

 

… That day in February 2012, Halawa had a choice: she could stay safely in Britain, or – being half-Egyptian and fiercely patriotic – return to Egypt to face the possibility of jail…

 

… The case was considered so politicised that, within weeks, all but two of the 28 foreign-born defendants had left the country on a US military plane after their governments paid bail money. Halawa was one of the two who stayed. The other was NDI’s Robert Becker, a former Democratic campaigner, who felt that the remaining Egyptian defendants would be forgotten if the Americans all left.

 

Becker was fired by NDI a few days later…

 

… “Hafsa and the other Egyptians that I shared a cage with for 18 months are some of the most courageous people I’ve ever seen,” said Becker, who escaped to Italy only once he had finally been sentenced to jail last Tuesday. “She certainly could have left. She cares deeply about the future direction of her country, and I applaud her for staying”…

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