The expulsion of a New York Times journalist after his arrival at Cairo international airport is the latest move in Egypt's crackdown on free speech and the media. The Sissi government has been accused of assuming a dictatorial government, detaining opposition figures especially journalists who have been at the receiving end.
The newspaper had earlier reported on that security officials held former Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick for seven hours without food or water after confiscating his mobile phone, before sending him back on a flight to London on Tuesday.
Why Egyptian Authorities Detained Kirkpatrick
Kirkpatrick’s writings have angered Egyptian authorities. His book is about the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011 and the tumultuous events that preceded Sissi leading a military coup that ousted elected Islamist President Mohamed Morsi. Kirkpatrick wrote an article last year about Egyptian intelligence officers’ efforts to manipulate news media on the government’s ties to Israel and other sensitive issues, the New York Times reported.
In a tweet Tuesday, Kirkpatrick’s wife, Laura Bradford, wrote: “He’s fine and home safe now. But I wonder if they would have dared hold him without Trump’s encouragement.”
In recent times, there has been cases of overwhelming assault on Egyptian journalists imprisoning dozens and occasionally expelling some foreign journalists. Some Aljazeera journalists were held for months without trial.
Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid, known as "Shawkan," is the most prominent among them. A court ordered his release in September after he served five years, but he remains behind bars as his release, possibly this week, is processed.
Header Image Credit: Michael Nagle