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“Made in the USA” Tear Gas Thrown at Protesters in Egypt

Tear Gas used on protestors made in usa

The United States has given billions of dollars in military aid to Egypt over the decades. The State Department approved the sale of tear gas to its police, despite its known history of brutality.

As everyday life begins to resume in Egypt, there are lingering questions about what happened, how it happened, and what's next.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is tackling some of these questions. We have our own questions we would like answers to.

Help us get our questions asked by sending a letter to the chairs and members of the committee.

Given the U.S. relationship with Egypt, President Obama and U.S. policymakers can make a difference in what happens in Egypt—let's make sure they keep the interest of Egyptian citizens in mind.

I’m writing to ask that you consider pressing human rights issues in Egypt in the upcoming House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing “Recent Developments in Egypt and Lebanon: Implications for U.S. Policy and Allies in the Broader Middle East.”

I’d like to hear members of the Obama Administration answer the following questions:

1. Why did the State Department approve the sale of tear gas to Egyptian police despite its well-documented history of brutality?
2. Can you describe what steps the administration is taking to ensure that the transition process now underway in Egypt leads to more respect for human rights and a more representative and responsive system of government?
3. How can we ensure that the State of Emergency is lifted, that political prisoners are released and that necessary constitutional amendments and other safeguards are implemented to permit free elections to take place in the coming months?
4. Given that discrimination against Egypt’s minority Christian community has been a constant feature of Mubarak's policy -- and the marked increase in violence against Copts -- can you discuss what the U.S. Government is prepared to do to help support religious freedom in Egypt?
5. Considering the U.S. commitment to Internet freedom as a basic aspect of freedom of expression, what is the U.S. Government doing to protect the role—and the private services—of tech companies in places such as Egypt, where the rule of law is not respected?
6. The Egyptian military has been a longtime partner of the U.S., receiving billions of dollars of aid and training. What is the administration doing to persuade the military to become a force for stability and respect in Egyptian society?

Thank you for considering these questions.

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