Egypt denies New York Times journalist entry

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian President
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egyptian President

The New York Times said on Tuesday that Egyptian Authorities denied entry to one of its correspondents and sent him back to London after holding him for hours.

The newspaper said that David D Kirkpatrick was arrested on Monday after arriving at Cairo International Airport.

Hours later, Mr Kirkpatrick’s phone was confiscated and he was held without food or water for seven hours, it added.

“On Tuesday, Egyptian officials escorted him onto an EgyptAir flight back to London,’’ the paper said.

His passport was held by an official until the plane landed at Heathrow Airport.

The Egyptian authorities gave no explanation for their actions.

Sam Werberg, a spokesman for the United States Embassy in Cairo, was quoted by the newspaper as expressing concern regarding “the unexplained refusal of entry to Egypt of a U.S citizen.’’

“We have raised our concerns with Egyptian officials,’’ the spokesman said.

The paper said the move against Kirkpatrick “is an escalation of a severe crackdown against the news media under Egypt’s strongman leader, President Abdel Fattah [al-Sissi].’’

Mr Kirkpatrick, 48, was Cairo bureau chief for The New York Times from 2011 to 2015 and is the author of a recent book on Egypt, “Into the Hands of the Soldiers.’’

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Egypt has seen a crackdown on freedom of expression since Mr al-Sissi came to power in 2014, with dozens of journalists imprisoned or forced into exile.

(dpa/NAN)

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