Durbin Files NDAA Amendments To Hold Egypt Accountable For Disappearances Of Family Members Of Illinois Resident

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) filed amendments to this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would hold Egypt accountable for the harassment and detention of Americans and their family members. Durbin has advocated for the release of three family members of Aly Hussin Mahdy, who is a lawful U.S. asylee and Illinois resident, who saw his father, uncle, and cousin jailed after he urged peaceful protests in front of Egyptian embassies. Durbin’s amendments would require a report on the suspected harassment and detention of Americans and their family members in Egypt, as well as take away the interest accrual benefit Egypt receives in its annual $1.3 billion Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance, which has been estimated at $390 million over the last 20 years.   


“These amendments send a clear message to Egyptian leadership that it must answer for the troubling, ongoing disappearance of dissidents and human rights advocates in their country.  While Egypt and the United States have enjoyed decades of cooperation on many important issues, the relationship and related U.S. assistance can no longer ignore flagrant human rights abuses,” said Durbin. “I will continue to call for family members of human rights advocate and Illinois resident Aly Hussin Mahdy to be immediately released and further protected from undue harsh treatment.”


U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) cosponsored Durbin’s amendments. Full text of Durbin’s amendments are available here and here.