Berlin, June 6, 2013
AJC leaders expressed great disappointment at prison sentences given to two Konrad Adenauer Foundation employees who worked at the KAS office in Cairo.
“For over 30 years the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has worked with partner organizations in Egypt to build legal and civic structures,” said Deidre Berger, Director of the AJC Berlin Ramer Institute. “This verdict not only harms important partnerships but also damages public trust in the legal system and civil institutions necessary for a democratic Egypt. How can civil society be strengthened when the work of non-governmental organizations is made illegal?”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle joined U.S. officials in sharply condemning the sentences.
For over 33 years AJC and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung have maintained an exchange program to strengthen the German-Jewish relationship. Their offices in Berlin, Brussels, Washington, D.C., and Jerusalem work together to address issues related to the Middle East and the transatlantic relationship.
“AJC extends its solidarity to the affected employees,” said Deidre Berger. “The Adenauer Foundation plays an important role in Egyptian political life and their absence will be a loss for efforts to build democracy in Egypt. We value highly the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung’s global mission to strengthen civil society and promote democracy, two ideals central to the mission of AJC.”
AJC hopes that the two employees of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, as well as 41 other employees of international NGOs working in Egypt who were sentenced during the same trial, will have their sentences revoked through an appeal process.