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US cancels award for Egyptian activist

world Updated: Mar 10, 2013 01:00 IST
US cancels award for Egyptian activist

The US has cancelled the International Women of Courage Award to Egyptian activist Samira Ibrahim after coming to know that she had in the past praised the 9/11 attack.

The embarrassing cancellation of the award was announced Friday by the state department only a few hours before she was to be honoured by the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and secretary of state John Kerry, along with nine others.

“The department has decided not to present her with the award,” state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters at a press conference.

Without explaining the reasons for it, she said the US did not consider some of her public statements as “appropriate” and those compromised with its values.

“Upon review, we have concluded that we will not give her this award,” Nuland said, adding that there were obviously some problems in the review process and the issues are under probe.

Ibrahim had “refused to apologise” for her tweets regarding the 9/11 attacks, writing on Twitter that the “Zionist lobby in America” was to blame. Ibrahim had posted — and promptly deleted — a 9/11 anniversary message saying “America should burn”.