U.S. accuses New Yorkers of stalking Egyptian Sisi’s opponent | Wall Street Journal Crime News

The U.S. Department of Justice accused Pierre Kyrgyz of acting as a foreign agent in Egypt without notifying the U.S. government.

The US authorities arrested an Egyptian-American man from New York, accusing him of working illegally at the request of the Egyptian government to track down the “political opponent” of the country’s President Abdul Fatah Sisi.

U.S. Department of Justice Say On Thursday, 39-year-old Pierre Girgis was detained.

Girgis is charged with conspiracy to act as a foreign agent and acting as a foreign agent without notifying the US Attorney General’s Office-both counts may be sentenced to 5 and 10 years in jail, respectively.

Michael J. Driscoll, assistant in charge of the New York branch of the FBI, said: “Foreign agents must be registered with our government for good reasons-they often act in the interests of the country, not the interests of the United States.” , Said in a statement.

Secretary of State Anthony Brinken and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh ShukriAs part of the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken met with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri in Washington, DC in November 2021 [File: Alex Brandon/AP Photo]

“We accuse Mr. Girgis of sending non-public information back to Egypt for the benefit of the Egyptian government. Mr. Kyrgyz has violated our laws and we must hold him accountable.”

The Ministry of Justice stated that Kyrgyzstan was working in Egypt “under the command and control of multiple officials” to collect information about Egyptian dissidents. The department stated that the so-called activities took place between 2014 and 2019.

“At the request of Egyptian officials, Kyrgyzstan’s allegedly prohibited behavior includes attempts to secretly collect non-public intelligence on the activities of political opponents of the Egyptian president, and attempts to allow foreign officials to enter Manhattan to participate in law enforcement training,” U.S. prosecutor Damian Williams also Say.

Al Jazeera could not reach Kyrgyzstan or his lawyer. The Egyptian Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

The 1938 US law, the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA), requires individuals working on behalf of foreign governments in the United States to register with the Department of Justice and regularly publicly disclose their political activities.

The United States and Egypt have close relations, and Washington provides $1.3 billion in military assistance to Cairo every year. U.S. officials praise the Egyptian government Play a key role in the Middle East.

But US President Joe Biden faces calls for more measures to force Egypt to respect human rights.

Since the 2013 coup came to power, human rights organizations have accused the Sisi government of imprisoning thousands of dissidents and declared almost all forms of political opposition illegal. However, the Egyptian president denied detaining political prisoners and stated that his government is fighting “terrorism.”

Biden had promised to human rights As the core of U.S. foreign policy, before the 2020 election, he promised to “no longer [Donald] Trump’s “favorite dictator” refers to el-Sisi.

But since taking office, the Biden administration has stated that it is working hard to strengthen the US-Egyptian partnership.

Biden $130 million withheld Among the US$1.3 billion in annual assistance provided to Egypt due to human rights issues, human rights organizations have called for a moratorium of at least US$300 million.

“If the government’s dedication to human rights is sincere, then the decision will be simple: withhold the $300 million in military aid required by Congress to incentivize Sisi to change direction.” An alliance The organization stated in September.