Egypt lifts travel ban on American activists in NGO case
It is not immediately clear when any of the activists, who are accused of carrying out political activities unrelated to their work, will be able leave the country.
Egypt has decided to lift a travel ban preventing American pro-democracy activists from leaving the country, judicial sources said on Wednesday, a move that is likely to defuse a standoff that has plunged U.S.-Egyptian ties into a crisis.
It was not immediately clear when any of the activists involved in the case would leave the country. Sixteen of the 43 people facing charges are Americans. Some of them are not in Egypt and some others have sought refuge in the U.S. embassy.
"The assistant to the attorney general, following a request from the investigating judges, has issued an order to lift the ban," a judicial source said, adding that charges had not been dropped against any of those involved.
Two other judicial sources also said a decision to lift the travel ban from the U.S. citizens had been taken.
The workers are alleged to have carried out political activities unrelated to their work and failing to obtain necessary operating licenses. The NGOs say they have long sought to register in Egypt and describe the crackdown as part of a wave of repression against civil society by the generals who took power after President Hosni Mubarak's overthrow last year.
The U.S. embassy had no immediate comment on the case.