Hossam Bahgat decries ‘Republic of Fear’ after being banned from leaving Egypt

February 24, 2016

Egyptian investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat has been banned from leaving the country on Tuesday, according to a post on his Facebook page.

Bahgat was stopped at Cairo Airport while attempting to travel to Jordan to attend a conference run by the UN. Ironically, the conference is titled “Justice in the Arab World.”

Bahgat said he was barred from traveling without receiving any explanation regarding the reason for the ban. He used the hashtag “Republic of Fear” to describe his travel ban.

Bahgat has previously been detained by the military intelligence apparatus, but was quickly released following an international campaign to release him, supported by the UN Secretary General.

Human Rights Watch has repeatedly condemned the Egyptian regime’s systematic use of travel bans against political opponents.

“The Egyptian authorities have jailed thousands of dissidents in the past two years and are now turning the country’s own borders into de facto prison walls,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW. “The total lack of checks on the power of the National Security Agency leaves citizens without recourse.”

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