General: Jordan: Journalist Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak missing after deportation by Jordanian authorities back to Egypt

20.04.21

Update: Jordan: Egyptian journalist Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak was released after 30 hours of detention by the National Security Bureau (Mabahith) at Cairo airport following his deportation from Jordan.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is concerned that an Egyptian journalist has been arrested and forcibly disappeared after being deported back to Egypt following his arrival in Jordan for a job opportunity.

On 19 April 2021, journalist Abdulrahman Faris, brother of journalist Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak, wrote on his Facebook page the following: “A security apparatus, namely Jordan, has deported my younger brother Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak and participates in endangering his security, freedom, and psychological and physical integrity. Hassan has been missing since 7:34 pm last night, and so far we don't have a single piece of information about it.”

On 17 April 2021, Mubarak officially left Cairo International Airport on board a Royal Jordanian Airlines plane heading to Jordan, which allows entry to Egyptians without a prior visa, but the Jordanian security authorities neither allow him to enter the country nor allowed him to travel to a third country, and insisted on deporting him back to Egypt against his wishes.

He was forced to board a Royal Jordanian plane on the evening of 18 April 2021, accompanied by a security escort. He remained in contact with his family upon his arrival and until 7:34 pm, when communications with him were cut off, after he informed them that he had entered the National Security Bureau (Mabahith) at Cairo International Airport. Nothing is known about him as of this time.

He was previously arrested in Egypt on 04 February 2018, and remained in detention for nearly two and a half years, until his release on10 May 2020. He faced charges related to joining a group that was established in violation of the law, spreading false news and statements, and misusing social media. His arrest coincided with a security crackdown that took place in early 2018, a few months before the presidential elections.

GCHR calls on the Jordanian authoritis to meet their human rights obligations and not put the lives of  journalists and activists at risk by deporting them against their will to countries where they face imminent risk. GCHR condemns this behaviour in addition to the recent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Jordan, and warns that it puts Jordan at risk of turning into a police state.

GCHR further calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately provide information about the whereabouts of journalist Hassan Al-Banna Mubarak and release him immediately.