Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, is being detained in Egypt as part of a crackdown on the pro-democracy non-government organization he works for and similar groups.
The younger LaHood, who is director of the Washington-based International Republican Institute’s Egyptian program, has been singled out by name in Egyptian state-owned media, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said in statement. Egypt is preventing Lahood and four colleagues from leaving the country after government officials last month raided their offices, harassed workers and confiscated property .
Officials also raided the offices of the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House and other pro-democracy NGOs. McCain said the groups have “made every effort to comply with Egyptian laws and register their organizations with the Egyptian government,” but government officials have failed to allow the groups to register.
“I call on the Egyptian government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to cease the harassment and unwarranted investigations of American NGOs operating in Egypt, to register these groups immediately, to return all of the property confiscated in the raids against these organizations, to end the intimidation of their employees by Egyptian officials, and to permit those members of these groups who wish to leave the country to do so,” McCain said.