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Statement by the Federal Foreign Office on the acquittal of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung staff by an Egyptian court

20.12.2018 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (20 December) on the acquittal of Christina Baade and Andreas Jacobs who worked for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Egypt:

It was with pleasure and satisfaction that we heard that the two Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung employees who had been sentenced to prison five years ago for their work at the foundation have now been acquitted by a court in Cairo. They and the foundation have thus been officially rehabilitated.

This ruling ends a long-standing dispute which had strained our relations with Egypt. We are pleased that we will now be able to start a new chapter.

We thank the Egyptian Government for its efforts to improve the legal situation by adopting the additional protocol to the cultural agreement between Germany and Egypt, which entered into force in 2017. We thereby laid the cornerstone together, a good year ago, to ensure that the political foundations in Egypt could continue their important work of fostering dialogue with civil society

Background information:

On 4 June 2013, the two Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung employees Andreas Jacobs and Christina Baade were convicted by an Egyptian court in absentia at first instance and sentenced to five and two years imprisonment respectively. They were charged with working for a non-registered non-governmental organisation which received illegal funds. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung had to close its Cairo office as a result of the convictions.

The additional protocol to the cultural agreement between Germany and Egypt, which entered into force in 2017, contains special arrangements concerning the status of and working conditions for German foundations in Egypt. In particular, it exempts them from general legislation such as the NGO Act. It also retroactively declares their activities and the activities of their employees to be lawful. It was this that permitted the convictions to be overturned.

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