EOHR Condemns the Egyptian Authorities’ Decision Prohibiting Bahraini Activist Ms. Maryam Al Khawaja from Entering Egypt

August 27th, 2012 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights strongly condemns the decision of Egyptian authorities prohibiting Bahraini Activist, Ms. Maryam Al Khawaja, from entering Egypt on the 26th of August, 2012.  Ms. Al Khawaja was banned from entering Egypt by Cairo airport security immediately after arriving in Cairo from Beirut.  Ms. Al Khawaja was then, unfortunately, deported to Europe upon instructions from a high level security authority.

                Ms. Al Khawaja, dual citizen of Denmark and Bahrain, daughter of the Bahraini activist Abdulhadi Al Khawaja , and Public Relations Officer of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, was surprised by the restrictions that she faced in Cairo, having been immediately detained upon her arrival and directly deported via the following flight to Copenhagen. 

                In this regard, EOHR expresses its stern condemnation of the barring of Bahraini activists from entering Egypt, just as Egyptian authorities had inexcusably denied the entrance of Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab last April.  This practice represents a grave violation of the right to the freedom of movement and a direct violation of Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

                EOHR urges Egyptian authorities to allow the entrance of Ms. Al Khawaja into Egypt and pinpoints the practice of openly barring Bahraini activists from entering Egypt as an indication of continued deficiencies in Egypt’s legal system.  Furthermore, it must also be noted that there are no outstanding decisions, issued anywhere, that actively prohibit the international mobility of Ms. Al Khawaja, and that, by prohibiting Ms. Al Khawaja from entering Egypt for the expression of her views, in her own country, is an outright violation of her freedom of expression.

                On his behalf, Mr. Hafez Abo Seada, Chairman of EOHR, calls for the respect and implementation of the right to the freedom of movement  and the amendment of the Egyptian legal system so that deficiencies in the implementation of international standards are removed.  In this regard, Mr. Abo Seada referred to Egyptian’s international obligation that contradicts with the decision of the Egyptian Minister of Interiors No. 1214 of the year 1994 regarding the inclusion of natural persons to travel banning lists, executively, and without legal decision. 

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