Open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Open letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

By | 2010-03-29T09:25:00+00:00 March 29th, 2010|News|0 Comments

We are concerned with the sovereignty of the United States as it pertains to the infiltration of the Egyptian regime within the U.S.

The Honorable
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State  
Washington, D.C. 20520

Dear Madam Secretary

On behalf of Voice of the Copts, a human rights organization working to free the oppressed and persecuted Coptic Christians of Egypt, please allow me to express a few concerns. These concerns are based on an incident that occurred recently in the United States diplomat’s office in Egypt within the office for US entry visa for non immigrants in the U.S. Consulate in Cairo.

We are concerned with the sovereignty of the United States as it pertains to the infiltration of the Egyptian regime within the U.S. Consulate, in particular, the interference by the Egyptian regime with the issuance of a visa to Mr. Ashraf Edward, an Egyptian attorney for human rights based in Cairo.

Mr. Edward was scheduled to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on February 25th and again on March 12th as an attorney for a human rights case recently coordinated and filed on January 22nd by Voice of the Copts before the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Religious Freedom and Belief, the first of its kind — Mr. Mohamed Hegazy (Egyptian-Muslim converted to Christianity) vs. Egyptian Government.

Below we have outlined the unfolding of this episode. Ashraf Ramelah, President of VOTC, was in daily contact with Mr. Edward as he filed his visa application on time only to discover his visa withheld and granted a day too late to attend our press conference. The timeline below demonstrates how this was no accident, but rather a contrivance on the part of those serving Mr. Edward.

These facts show that each waiting period for Mr. Edward was extended beyond the normal length of time and each of his interview dates were delayed. At that time, the U.S. Consulate had knowledge of Mr. Edward’s agenda and scheduled speaking engagement at the National Press Club where he was to report on the Hegazy case, as well as the Nag Hammadi massacre of eight Copts.

Below is the dialogue which took place between the U.S. Consulate employee (M.R.) and Mr. Edward during his second interview — 48 hours prior to our press conference — and reveals intent on the part of this person to keep Mr. Edward from attending our event.

Furthermore, we believe that the facts justify serious questions regarding the integrity of our U.S. Consulate, and we hope you will agree with us that this incident deserves a full investigation in order to remove any doubt concerning employees at the American facility in Egypt.

The following is an outline of the details as they happened:

– On January 22nd, 2010 our organization along with Mr. Ashraf Edward (an Egyptian attorney and human rights activist) submitted an application to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

– The application was on behalf of an Egyptian-Muslim, Mr. Mohamed Hegazy, who converted to Christianity.

– Dr. Grégor Puppinck, Director of European Center for Law and Justice, is our international attorney handling this matter.

– Our organization planned a press conference at the National Press Club. The event was first scheduled to take place on February 25th, 2010.

– Mr. Ashraf Edward was invited to participate.

– Voice of the Copts made certain the U.S. Consulate in Cairo had knowledge (date/time) of our event in Washington, and also VOTC informed officers of the State Department in contact with our organization.

– On January 29th, 2010, Mr. Edward submitted his application for an entry visa electronically as per U.S. Consulate in Cairo. He was granted an interview on February 21st, 2010, just four days prior to the event.

– On February 21st, Mr. Edward arrived to the consulate carrying various documents proving his involvement in the Hegazy case as well as other human rights cases in Egypt.

– Mr. Edward submitted his papers to an employee of the consulate. The employee was a woman with the initials M.R., who later would not give her name when asked. M.R. informed him that due to an administrative issue she could not give him any information related to his visa request, and he had to wait for seven days.

– On February 22nd, 2010 our office received a phone call from an employee of the consulate in Cairo asking verification. All his questions were answered. 

– Due to the winter storm, we were forced to schedule another date.

– The U.S. Consulate was informed about the cancellation as well as the new date, time and location.

– The new date was March 12th, same location mentioned above.

– In and about February 28th, 2010 an email from the U.S. Consulate section signed with initials, E.S., asked Mr. Edward to send his passport via DHL. Mr. Edward sent his passport as per consulate instruction.

– On March 3rd, 2010 an email signed by M.R., the same employee that interviewed Mr. Edward in the first place, requested that Mr. Edward’s new interview be scheduled for March 10th, 2010, just two days prior to our press conference.

The following is the conversation that took place on March 10th between the U.S. Consulate employee, M.R., and Mr. Edward:

MR:        Hi Mr. Ashraf, I think that you missed the event.
Edward: Good morning Madam, no, the event was canceled; the new date is 03/12/10. I know that Voice of the
             Copts kept you informed. I know that they sent the cancelation and the new date to your office.
MR:       I do not know why you guys have to do certain events outside the country. I think it could be better to
             do those events here in 
Egypt.
Edward: We already had a press conference in Cairo and Voice of the Copts wants to do another one in theUSA.
MR:        Ok, in three days you will have your visa.
Edward: But in three days the conference will be over.
MR:  ã€€ã€€Sorry, but I cannot do it faster. 

What occurred in the United States diplomat’s office in Cairo, Egypt is very disturbing and damaging to the sovereignty of this country and its institutions. This incident is not only offensive to the State Department which you head, but offensive to all Americans.

Voice of the Copts kindly requests an investigation into this incident in order to clear any doubt concerning the integrity and loyalty of employees working inside the U.S. diplomatic facility.