The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called on Egyptian authorities to clarify the reasons for barring American analyst Michele Dunne from entering Egypt earlier this week.
Dunne, a former diplomat and a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was set to speak at a conference of the Egyptian Council of Foreign Affairs. She was, however, denied entry at the airport on Saturday.
ANHRI said in a statement Monday that the “Egyptian government’s insistence on banning politicians and rights advocates” from entering the country “is a return to State Security policies that existed prior to the 25 January Revolution”. The NGO added that it rejects this in form and substance.
State Security is a branch of the police notorious for its brutal practices. Following the revolution, State Security was renamed Homeland Security, but many still refer to it as State Security.
Dunne is senior associate in Carnegie’s Middle East Program, where her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as US policy in the Middle East.
ANHRI said the method followed by dictatorial rule is not commensurate with the situation after the isolation of two dictatorial regimes. The NGO demanded transparency from authorities and clarification on Dunne’s deportation.
On Sunday, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry “expressed surprise at the allegations” made by Dunne. According to the ministry’s consular department, Dunne applied for a visa in the Egyptian Embassy in Washington for purposes other than tourism, where she was requested to proceed with filling other applications and documents. Dunne then allegedly withdrew her passport and travelled to Egypt without completing the required applications.
Dunne’s deportation follows a similar case in August of this year, when Human Rights Watch (HRW) director Kenneth Roth and colleague Sarah Leah Whitson were denied entry to Egypt. The HRW had arrived to deliver their organisation’s report into the mass deaths at the dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in and other protests during August 2013.