Egypt: In Cairo International Airport …Be Careful if You Are A Blogger!
|Friday, January 1,2010 15:28|
|By Noha Atef|
Meanwhile leading NGOs and studies centers all over the world becoming more interested in listening to the Arab bloggers and their digital activism, the Egyptian bloggers have bad luck in their country's airport! As a number of bloggers had problem in Cairo International airport, because of their views written online, such as Wael Abbas who has been harassed when leaving or backing to Egypt by being kept in the police office at the airport, then confiscating his laptop, later on the confiscation was to include all digital devices he carries.
Abbas who was invited to the 2nd Arab Bloggers Meeting in Beirut was harassed again in his way back ‘the police stopped me and checked my passport again!” but some time of delay was not a big problem for such blogger who used to loose his portable devices in the airport! Since last July 2009, when was hold in the airport, Abbas cannot travel with a laptop, flash memory or CDs.
But Al Wa'i Al-Masri (The Egyptian Awareness) writer was not the first blogger, as in 2007 the State Security police detained Abdul Moneim Mahmoud off a plane in Cairo airport, from where he is to begin a new journey of interrogations and detentions and probably torture, which he had suffered before by the hands of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior. In the same year, the young blogger was detained while traveling to Sudan. He was held for 47 days before being released. Nevertheless, Mahmoud who writes in Ana Ikhwan (I'm a Muslim Brothers Member) blog was again stopped at Cairo Airport on 2008 and prevented from traveling from to a conference on press freedom in Morocco.
Meanwhile Mahmoud was once taken back from waiting lounge before minutes of boarding to State Security headquarters in Cairo Airport, Per Bjorklund was less lucky! As a police officer told the Swedish journalist and blogger “‘Your name is on the computer!” So, He was kept in the airport before being deported to his home country. Per Bjorklund who used to blog about labor strikes in Egypt was told that he is a persona non grata in Egypt.
A word ‘Blogger' is becoming more worrying to the Egyptian authorities after the wide success of many of the blogoshpere, in revealing crimes and discussing some social causes and rights, were not tackled in the state-run media.