Security forces at Cairo International Airport prevented human rights lawyer Nasser Amin from traveling to Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday to participate in a legal conference.
The security forces informed Amin that the order to ban him from traveling came from the General Prosecution on 30 April. Nasser said that he had not received any clarification about the reasons behind the decision.
Human rights lawyer Negad El-Borai said that Amin was informed that the decision came as part of the reopened non-governmental organisations (NGOs’) foreign funding case of 2011.
Amin, who is a member of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), said that he had not previously received any notification about the travel ban order, adding that NCHR had sent a letter to the General Prosecution, requesting an explanation.
Over the past months, other political and human rights activists were banned from traveling due to their involvement in the NGOs’ foreign funding case, including head of Nazra for Feminist Studies Mozn Hassan, human rights lawyer Gamal Eid, and investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat.
In mid-February, Amin was stopped at the airport by an immigration official who sent him to a low-ranking policeman to check if the lawyer was banned from travel. However, after half an hour, the policeman returned Amin’s passport, permitting him to travel to Geneva.
Several local and international human rights NGOs condemned the recent string of travel bans issued against a number of political activists and human rights defenders.
The NGOs’ foreign funding case dates back to December 2011, when prosecutors, backed by the police, stormed the offices of 17 local and international NGOs. Forty-three NGO workers were put to trial, including 32 foreigners, and were convicted of unlicensed work and receiving illegal foreign funds.