"Egyptian NGOs committed to democracy could play a major role in steering the government to liberal political change, and drawing the attention of the world to its successes and shortcoming. But the government of Egypt has moved swiftly to forestall this possibility," said Charles Dunne, director for Middle East and North Africa programs at Freedom House, in his testimony before the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa.
The best way for the U.S. to support democracy in Turkey is by integrating democracy and human rights into the bilateral policy relationship, just as security and trade have been integrated," stated Freedom House's Nate Schenken in testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats.
In testimony to the U.S. House Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Freedom House Director of MENA programs Charles Dunne, one of 43 NGO employees unjustly convicted last week by an Egyptian court, called for the U.S. government to conduct a top-to-bottom review of its relationship with Egypt, including its aid package. Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) agreed, stating, “We must insist that the government implement real democratic reforms or risk losing U.S. assistance.” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) echoed this sentiment, calling the verdict a "huge impediment in our relationship and our ability to partner with the Egyptian government."