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American blogger detained at Cairo airport, barred from entering Egypt

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) stated that the stopping of bloggers at Cairo airport and seizure of their belongings has now grown to include the American blogger Travis Randall, owner of the blog Travis' Place ( http://travisrandall.blogspot.com ).

Randall was stopped upon his arrival at Cairo Airport on the evening of 1 September 2009. The authorities informed him that he had been banned from entering Egypt. He was detained until the morning of 2 September, then forced to buy a ticket and put on a plane back to London.

The young American blogger, who lived in Cairo for two years and took part in a peaceful march supporting the Palestinian cause during the Gaza war earlier in 2009, arrived in Cairo to visit friends but, to his surprise, the authorities stopped him and seized his cell phone and laptop. He was detained at the airport until he bought a ticket and left the country.

"Assuming that the authorities have the right to stop the blogger from entering Egypt even though he has not been accused of anything, they have absolutely no right to seize his laptop and prevent him from making phone calls. This is an intolerable abuse," stated ANHRI.

ANHRI condemns this mistreatment of a foreign citizen and the fact that he was not permitted to enter Egypt as a result of his solidarity with the Palestinian people. This stance contradicts the Egyptian government's claims of continued support for the Palestinian people.

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