Rights lawyer Negad al-Borai was prevented from boarding an international flight at Cairo International Airport on Thursday.
Borai, a lawyer and founder at the United Group who has been implicated in the state’s ongoing NGO foreign funding case, told Mada Masr that he was informed that the travel ban was issued by the prosecutor’s general office.
Planning to board a plane to Jordan, the rights lawyer was notified of the travel ban after he had passed through passport control. Borai added that he was neither informed of the reason for the decision, nor does he have any information as to whether it was linked to the NGO foreign funding case. He equally said that he will not take any action to know the motive.
Borai is the founder of the United Group, an attorney office that drafted anti-torture legislation and submitted it to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Court of Cassation and Parliament in 2015. He was subsequently interrogated along with judges Hisham Raouf and Assem Abdel Gabbar in relation to accusations that they had formed an illegal organization, prepared the anti-torture legislation and pressured the president’s office to pass it.
In the course of the interrogation, the investigating judge delineated a number of further accusations against the rights lawyer, including having illegally received funding from international entities to be used in seditionary purposes and attempting to attract young Egyptians to political groups in an effort to incite anti-government public sentiment. Borai was accused of using “non-violent techniques” to carry out these activities.
Several rights workers that the state has implicated in the NGO foreign funding case have been banned from traveling and had their assets frozen, including most notably rights lawyers Gamal Eid, Ahmed Ragheb and Nasser Amin, Nazra for Feminist Studies founder Mozn Hassan, Center for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance founder Azza Soliman and rights activists Hossam Bahgat and Mohamed Zarea.
In a previous interview with Mada Masr, Borai said that he is not concerned with the accusations the state has leveled against him.
“I have nothing to fear. In the end, they will send us to court. Whether we send it to Parliament or stop working, they have decided to refer any voice of difference to court, or even to jail directly,” he said. “At the end of the day, we know what the end result will be. They have a plan they are trying to implement step by step. This plan is not just against the United Group or Negad al-Borai but against human rights activists and any voices of dissent.”