CAIRO: Swedish journalist Per Bjorklund was deported from Egypt early Thursday after being detained for two days at Cairo International Airport.
Bjorklund returned to Prague from where he arrived on the 2 am Czech Airlines flight. He was detained two days earlier when landing in Cairo after vacationing in his native Sweden.
The Consul from the Swedish embassy in Cairo managed to meet with Bjorklund prior to his deportation, embassy Press Councilor Joakim Vaverka told Daily News Egypt.
Vaverka said that neither the embassy nor Bjorklund himself were given any explanation as to the reason behind the deportation. “We have not received any such information and he had not been told himself, he said.
After receiving no response to their queries from Egyptian authorities, the Consul went out to the airport on his own accord, as “we assumed he was still there because we hadn’t heard anything to the contrary, Vaverka said.
“He was in good shape under the circumstances and he was treated well, he added.
It is believed that the reason for Bjorklund’s deportation was his participation in the To Gaza march last February. He is the second foreigner from the march to be denied entry into Egypt.
Earlier this month, American citizen Travis Randall was also detained at Cairo Airport and sent back on the next flight sans his laptop.
Bjorklund’s girlfriend Anna was traveling with him and she previously told Daily News Egypt that they had arrived at Cairo airport at 1:30 am on Tuesday, and had purchased a visa and it was when they went to get it stamped that officials stopped Bjorklund.
“They told him that it said on the computer that they should not let him through, she said, “they didn’t know what to do with him so they told him to just wait until someone could come talk to him.
Vaverka said that it was still too soon to decide whether the embassy would be taking further action over the incident, but stated that the way things had panned out made the embassy feel the need to reassess how they would handle similar incidents in the future.