Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, and HRW Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson have been denied entry to Egypt, after being held at Cairo's international airport for 12 hours.
|Whitson wrote on Twitter: "It's official - shortest visit to Cairo ever - 12 hours before
deportation for 'security reasons'- the new Egypt certainly 'transitioning'." |
Roth and Whitson had flown to Cairo for the release of a report to mark a year since the mass killing of an estimated hundreds of opposition protesters by security forces, on the Raba'a al-Adawiya Square and near Cairo University in Giza, in one of the deadliest incidents of its kind in decades. "We came to Egypt to release a serious report on a serious subject that deserves serious attention from the Egyptian government," Roth said in a statement. "Rab'a massacre numbers rank with Tiananmen and Andijan but Egypt gov't wouldn't let me in to present report on it," he wrote on Twitter.
Human rights in Egypt have deteriorated sharply since the overthrow of the country's elected President Mohamed Morsi by the former army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013, righht groups have warned.
Human Rights Watch's European media director, Andrew Stroehlein, said it was the first time ever that the authorities in Egypt had denied entry to HRW staff.