General: Egypt: Travel ban issued against prominent human rights lawyer Gamal Eid, en route to training

04.02.16

In the early hours of 04 February 2016, Egyptian security forces at Cairo International Airport banned prominent human rights lawyer Gamal Eid from travelling to Athens, to train some lawyers on international human rights law and UN mechanisms.

As executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Eid works hard to defend the people’s rights in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. He founded ANHRI in 2003 to strive to protect freedom of opinion, belief and expression in the whole region. In December, he has participated in a workshop organised by the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) at the 4th Arab Internet Governance Forum on “Freedom of opinion and expression on the Internet in the Arab region and their impact on human development.” See: https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1146

ANHRI reports that Eid was stopped at the airport allegedly due to the existence of a judicial decision, yet he has not been informed of any details or been investigated, nor has any judicial body told him that he was banned from travelling before.

Eid said on twitter, "Because I say that this is a police state they prevented me from travelling, Ok, Egypt is a police state."

Eid has faced harassment and prison for his ongoing dedication to human rights. He was nominated for the Bindmans Law and Campaigning Award in 2009 and honoured by the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) with the Leaders for Democracy Award in 2011. In 2011, ANHRI won the Roland Berger Human Dignity Award.

GCHR is concerned by the travel ban imposed on Gamal Eid, which it believes to be solely motivated by his tireless peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights in Egypt and region. GCHR believes that travel bans are being systematically used to hinder the important work and activities of human rights defenders in Egypt and the whole MENA region and calls on the Egyptian government to revoke it immediately and without any condition.