Sen. Paul Re-Introduces Amendment To Eliminate Foreign Aid To Egypt
WASHINGTON, D.C - Sen. Rand Paul today took to the Senate floor to re-introduce his proposed amendment to eliminate foreign aid to Egypt until the Egyptian government ceases the prosecution of U.S. citizens. The amendment also recoups the bail money paid to free the American pro-democracy workers last month.
I rise today to introduce an amendment that would end aid to Egypt until they end the prosecution of our U.S. citizens. I offered this amendment earlier this spring when Egypt was detaining our citizens, these pro-democracy workers and was not letting them leave the country.
Since then they have let them leave the country but sort of in an insulting fashion, in the sense that they have let them leave when we had to pay basically ransom. We had to pay about $5 million in ransom. $300,000 per person to let them leave Egypt.
So they came home and Egypt still could only get paid if the administration certified they were pro-democracy. Within days Secretary Clinton released the said aid and said they were achieving their democratic goals.
I wrote a letter to Secretary Clinton and asked her not to do this because the prosecution still goes on. These American citizens that were allowed to leave the country had to pay $300,000 in bail but had to sign a statement saying they're coming back for the trial.
Everybody signed of said I doubt they're ever going back to Egypt for those show trials, but then it gets worse. It turns out that in December of last year President Obama signed an Executive order - this is order 135-24 - that gives Interpol, the international police organization, gives them immunity in our country.
We also have an extradition treaty with Egypt meaning if you're accused of a crime in Egypt, we can send you back. The danger is, are these pro-democracy workers safe in the United States? You have Interpol agents in the United States who now have immunity; we have an extradition treaty with Egypt.
There are definitely problems to allowing this to go on. This is an indication to me that maybe Egypt is not pursuing democratic goals and maybe certifying them as a democratic country is not in our best interest and maybe sending nearly $2 billion of taxpayer money to Egypt who continues to prosecute our citizens is not a good idea.
I'll give you an example of what Interpol is doing. Interpol recently took a Saudi journalist from Malaysia and sent him back to Saudi Arabia. Do you know what the crime was? They were accused of blasphemy. They were accused of a religious crime of apostasy. Do you know what if penalty is? The death penalty.
So we're now using the international police agency to go into a sovereign nation; someone is accused of a religious crime and sent back to a country where they can be put to death. This alarms me. People say that could never happen in America.
Well, right now the President has allowed Interpol through an Executive order through the President's signature, has allowed interpol to have diplomatic immunity in our country.
Some so for all I know Interpol could be at this very moment looking for American citizens in this country and trying to get those people and extradite them back to Egypt. This is a problem. This is why you don't want an international police force to operate within your sovereign nation. There can be cooperation but you don't want impunity and immunity for an international police force within your borders.
So I will introduce again an amendment to this bill, and this amendment will say no aid to Egypt until they end this prosecution. No aid to Egypt until they end these red letter warrants that they ask on U.S. citizens to be extradited back to Egypt. We can't allow U.S. citizens to be sent to a foreign country to be tried in a country where blasphemy is a crime.
Those are not American values; those are not American ways, and we can't allow U.S. citizens to be subject to foreign laws and foreign crimes. So I will ask today for a vote on an amendment that will end Egyptian aid or at least delay Egyptian foreign aid until they relinquish this persecution of our citizens.
Thank you, Mr. President. I yield back my time.