The U.S. Department of Justice has named Pierre Girgis as an ally in Egypt without notifying the US government.
U.S. authorities have arrested an Egyptian-American man from New York on charges of operating illegally in Egypt to pursue “political opponents” of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
US Department of Justice he said took Pierre Girgis, 39, to prison Thursday.
Girgis has been charged with felony criminal mischief for firing on a sculpture with a shotgun, according to The Associated Press.
“Foreign agencies need to register with our government for good reason – they often do things for the good of their country and the United States,” said Michael J Driscoll, a senior FBI agent in New York. office, he said in a statement.
“We allege that Girgis sent humanitarian messages to Egypt to support the Egyptian government. Girgis violated our laws, and we must prosecute them.”
The Ministry of Justice said Girgis had “worked to monitor and supervise a number of officials” in Egypt to gather information from dissidents in Egypt. The alleged incident took place between 2014 and 2019, the department said.
“Under the authority of the Egyptian authorities, Girgis’ alleged sanctions included attempts to collect non-public information on Egyptian anti-presidential activities, and attempts to obtain foreign officials access to private law education in Manhattan,” the attorney general said. US Damian Williams too he said.
Al Jazeera could not reach Girgis or his lawyers. The Egyptian ambassador to Washington, DC, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), a U.S. law of 1938, requires persons working for foreign governments in the United States to register with the Department of Justice and to disclose their policies from time to time.
The US and Egypt enjoy good relations, with Washington providing $ 1.3bn of military aid to Cairo annually and beyond. US officials praise Egypt government for playing a major role in the Middle East.
But US President Joe Biden is facing calls for more to force Egypt to respect human rights.
Activist groups have criticized the el-Sisi government for imprisoning thousands of protesters and banning almost all forms of political opposition since taking office in 2013. terrorism “.
Biden promised to put it human rights at the heart of US foreign policy, and before the 2020 elections, he promised that “there will be no check. [Donald] Trump ‘dictator’ “based on El-Sisi.
But since taking office, Biden’s management has said he is committed to strengthening the US-Egypt alliance.
Biden adakana $ 130m from the $ 1.3bn annual contribution to Egypt on human rights issues, but the civil rights groups wanted to suspend at least $ 300m.
“If their commitment to human rights had been sincere, the election would have been easier: a $ 300 million military aid package as Congress seeks to persuade al-Sisi to change,” agreement of agencies said in September.