An Egyptian rights activist scheduled to speak before the German parliament about human rights violations in Egypt has been prevented from travelling from Cairo’s international airport to attend the session.
Mohamad Lotfy, a former Amnesty International researcher who co-founded the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, was barred from boarding his plane to Berlin.
The speaker of the German parliament (Bundestag), Norbert Lammert, cancelled a meeting with Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el Sisi over pervasive human rights abuses in Egypt, following recent developments including the issuing of death sentences.
The latest controversy coincides with Sisi’s visit to Berlin. Several German leaders have explicitly expressed frustration with the visit, due to increased human rights violations and mass death sentences, including the death sentences given to deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and over a 100 other defendants belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected civilian president. He was overthrown in July 2013, following a brutal military crackdown that saw the bloody dispersal of the Rabaa and Nahda sit-ins in Cairo, resulting in the deaths and arrests of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters.
Lotfy said no official legal reason was given for barring him, but his passport was confiscated. Hey said it was "concerning" that the Egyptian state was worried about one person's critical voice while hundreds of Sisi supporters had already traveled to Berlin, including movie stars and media men.