Tuesday, February 06, 2007

No Welcome for Human Rights Activist

I'm a little late on writing on this, but it's worth mentioning as an example of what the Egyptian government thinks about human rights activists.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) and Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APHRA) reports that Mohamed Al-Maskati, human rights activist and Director of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR), was prevented from entering Egypt Jan. 31. The Cairo Airport Security Service held Al-Maskati in custody for more than 12 hours at the airport before he was deported back to Bahrain.

Al-Maskati (20 years-old) arrived at Cairo airport to participate in the seminar titled "The Role of Youth in Supporting Freedoms and Democracy" which is to be hold by BYSHR and APHRA. For more details, click here.

One of the things that might have prompted the Egyptian action was that Al-Maskati recently participated in a peaceful rally before the Egyptian embassy in Bahrain in protest on the detention of Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer. But the government probably didn't need any "provocation." I wouldn't expect the Mubarak government to treat a Bahraini human rights activist any better than they treat an Egyptian. They've been harassing and detaining Egyptian activists for years.

I hope there is a time soon when Egyptian organizations can invite foreign activists from all over the world to come share their stories and not worry whether they will be allowed in without harassment.
Fortunately, Mohamed Al-Maskati is a young man, young enough that it might happen in his lifetime.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home