ANHRI denounces Abdel Rahman Youssef’s travel ban

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CAIRO: The Arab Network for Human Rights Information denounced the banning of poet and member of Egypt’s writers union Abdel Rahman Youssef from traveling outside Egypt by security officials without citing any reasons, in a Wednesday statement.

Youssef was on his way to New York to hold the first of several seminars in different states, which he had already announced prior. He was thus surprised when airport security informed him that his name is on the travel-ban list. The poet waited for half an hour until his luggage was taken off the airplane before leaving the airport.

No reasons for the travel ban were given and Youssef was not summoned by the prosecution for any investigations. This is a clear indication that the oppressive methods of the state security apparatus are back, according to the ANHRI.

The poet filed a lawsuit with the State Council on Wednesday to cancel the travel-ban.

The ANHRI said that Youssef is one of the activists whose privacy was violated by TV show host Abdel Raheem Ali who published private recordings for some of the January 25 Revolution leaders, in an attempt at character assassination.

Youssef filed a complaint to the Attorney General to investigate the leak, but no measures were taken.

The ANHRI said that Youssef was targeted because of his criticism of the interim government and this is but one incident in a series of repression of political dissidents.

This is a dangerous devolution of freedom of expression and a set back from the gains of the revolution, the NGO said.

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