(Beirut) – The Egyptian authorities should stop imposing travel bans to prevent human rights defenders from leaving the country and speaking out about Egypt’s appalling human rights record, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said after another prominent human rights lawyer was banned from traveling. The bans are part of a larger campaign to suppress independent, critical voices inside the country.
Early this morning, airport immigration officials prevented human rights lawyer and defender Malek Adly from boarding a flight to France without informing him of the reason for the ban, as required by law, he said by phone. Since the armed forces ousted President Mohamed Morsy in July 2013, the authorities have arbitrarily banned at least 12 other directors, founders, and staff members of Egyptian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from traveling abroad. Others who have been prevented from traveling outside the country include dozens of members of political parties, youth activists, bloggers, journalists, and academics.