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Swedish journalist detained at Cairo airport, prevented from entering country

(EOHR/IFEX) - The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its worry over the detention of Per Bjorklund, a Swedish journalist and blogger, at Cairo Airport in a clear violation of the right to movement, liberty and personal security.

Per Bjorklund has worked in Egypt for three years for Swedish newspapers and websites and has a blog specializing in labor issues. He had traveled to the Czech Republic on a mission and upon his return to Cairo he was stopped by security at Cairo Airport on 28 September 2009 and prevented from entering Egypt. He is still detained.

EOHR has confirmed that the detention of the Swedish journalist is a clear violation of the right to liberty, personal security and the right to freedom of movement. It is an example of the continuation of such measures to punish foreign journalists and bloggers because of their opinions, which is a gross violation of freedom of opinion and expression guaranteed as by the Constitution and other international covenants on human rights which have been ratified by Egypt. EOHR calls on the Egyptian authorities to allow the journalist to enter the country.

EOHR also calls on all civil society organizations, both Egyptian and international, to work together to protect journalists and to ensure that they are not subjected to acts that violate international human rights agreements.

EOHR noted that this is not the first time that a foreign journalist has been prevented from entering the country, referring to the recent case of American journalist Travis Randall.
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