BRUSSELS - The European
Union said on Friday police raids of pro-democracy
and human rights
groups' offices in Egypt amounted to an "open
force" and urged the authorities to support civil society.
Egyptian prosecutors and police raided the offices of 17
groups on Thursday, in what the official MENA news agency
said was an investigation into foreign funding. The move
drew protests from the
"This open demonstration of force against civil society
organizations is particularly worrying as it comes in the
midst of Egypt's transition towards democracy," an EU
foreign policy spokesman,
Michael Mann, said.
He said the bloc's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton,
had called on Egyptian authorities to "allow civil society
organizations to continue their work in support of Egypt's
transition" following the toppling of president Hosni
Mubarak in February.