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Human rights lawyer barred from entering country

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 18 September 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) expressed its resentment at the barring of Jordanian lawyer Samir Jarrah, MENA regional manager of Freedom House, from entering Egypt. Cairo airport security held Jarrah and his wife in a dirty room at the airport for almost 15 hours with no food or water because he works for Freedom House, which listed Egypt as "not free" in its annual report released earlier this year.

Jarrah arrived at the Cairo airport on the night of 12 September from Amman to visit an Egyptian doctor and to prepare an Egyptian work visa for the end of September. He was surprised that airport security informed him that he was on a list of people temporarily barred from entering Egypt. Security detained him and his Egyptian wife, Amira Mustafa, in a filthy room and in disregard for his delicate health condition. They allowed him to take his medicine two hours late, refused to let him to travel on the first possible flight back to Jordan and insisted on detaining and interrogating him for several hours.

ANHRI is surprised at the animosity that the Egyptian government has been displaying towards human rights activists lately. Barring Jarrah from entering Egypt comes a few days after the Ministry of Social Solidarity used security reasons as an excuse to refuse to license the institute One Homeland for Development and Freedoms for security reasons.

ANHRI said, "The right to freedom of movement has been granted to all. It is unaccepted that the Egyptian government would not permit this renowned lawyer to visit Egypt and would detain him for long hours despite his health condition because of his human rights activity. Although the government enjoys complete sovereignty rights over all Egyptian land, it is inappropriate to use that right to take revenge on defenders of human rights for expressing themselves in a peaceful manner".

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