CHICAGO, Ill. (IRN) – One senator is outraged that a group of Americans could face charges in Egypt.
The Americans, including the son of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, are safe at the U.S. Embassy but could still face charges, according to U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Durbin says Sam LaHood was part of a group that traveled to Egypt to talk about “formation of democratic institutions,” and when Sam LaHood tried to leave the country, he and the other Americans were arrested. Durbin say the program, sponsored by the federal government, is routine. “It’s been done all over the world,” Durbin said. He says he is outraged at the Egyptian government’s actions.
“It is an outrage that a country that receives more foreign aid than any other country in the world is arresting the representatives of our government and threatening to throw them in jail for doing something that is very public, very open and not inconsistent with their future,” Durbin said. He says there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes with the situation. He says his heart goes out to Secretary LaHood and his wife. Durbin said he didn’t want to jump ahead when asked what the response should be if the group of Americans is put on trial.
Durbin believes the situation at hand came about because Egypt is in “turmoil” over who controls the country. He says there is no clear leadership at the present time. Durbin acknowledges the relationship with Egypt is an important one to keep peace in the Middle East.