A Lebanese blogger who was apparently linked to jailed Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil Sanad has been denied entry to Egypt on Monday, a Cairo airport official and a media watchdog said.
Imad Bazzi’s name “was on a list of people banned from entering at the request of a security apparatus,” said the official, adding that the blogger who arrived at 0800 GMT was put on a plane back to Lebanon at 1500 GMT.
In Beirut, the SKeyes Centre for Media and Cultural Freedoms issued a statement saying that Bazzi was “detained in the airport by Egypt’s National Security” until he was deported.
The statement said that information derived from activists and bloggers indicate that the ban on Bazzi was possibly due to his meeting with Egyptian blogger Sanad when the latter was preparing a documentary on Egypt’s uprising.
A military court convicted Sanad in April on charges of insulting the armed forces, prompting US lawmakers to send a letter to the military ruler, Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, demanding his release.
The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said on Saturday that Sanad, who began a hunger strike on August 23 and more recently started refusing to drink, “could very soon die.”
Bazzi writes Trella.org blog since 1998, and he is the executive director of CyberACT organisation for Internet activists.