CAIRO: Security forces must not prevent a Quranist blogger from traveling abroad, an NGO said Monday.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) called on the State Security Investigations body Monday to respect a court decision issued in March which upholds the right of Abdel-Latif Said to travel abroad.
EIPR — which on Sunday sent the Interior Ministry a formal copy of the court verdict — calls on security bodies “not to abuse the unlimited powers granted to the Interior Ministry under the emergency law in order to flout the court ruling”.
Abdel-Latif Said was detained at Cairo Airport twice last year. In April 2009, while attempting to travel to the US for a conference organized by the Center for Islam and Democracy, airport security officials told him that his name was on a list of individuals banned from traveling.
In November 2009, Said was again stopped at Cairo Airport while the blogger was en route to watch Egypt’s World Cup playoff match against Algeria in Sudan. Said spent seven days in a State Security Investigations facility before being released.
In the case it raised on behalf of Said, EIPR argued that the administrative travel ban imposed on him is unconstitutional. In addition, the NGO says in its statement issued Monday, no judicial authority has issued a decision prohibiting Said from traveling.
Said, who is the half-brother of prominent Quranist Ahmed Sobhy Mansour, was detained under the emergency law in May 2007 and questioned by the state security prosecution office on charges of contempt for religion based on the Quranist view that the Quran, not the sunna (sayings of Prophet Mohamed) is the unique source of legislation in Islam.
The group was released in September 2007.