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French journalist barred from entering Egypt

A French journalist announced on Thursday that security personnel at Cairo International Airport prevented her from entering the country on May 25.

Nina Hubinet, who worked in Cairo between 2008 and 2013, said in a statement on her Facebook page that she was returning to Egypt for the first time in five years for a vacation.

Hubinet said an officer at the airport informed her that her name was on a blacklist and sent her to a security office, where, according to her statement, another officer asked her whether she went to Tahrir Square during the 2011 revolution and inquired about an article she wrote on Nubians in December 2013.

The journalist, who has published in a number of prominent French publications, said that airport security authorities informed her that she had to leave on a plane to Paris and the French consulate advised her to comply.

Foreign journalists in Egypt have faced increasing restrictions and harassment from security personnel over the last two years. In May 2016, airport authorities deported French journalist Rémy Pigaglio, a correspondent for LaCroix, upon his arrival in Cairo from France. The reasons for Pigaglio’s deportation were unclear, as he had the necessary permits for work from Egypt’s State Information Services.

Similarly, British journalist Bel Tew, a correspondent for The Times, was arrested in March this year while conducting an interview in a cafe in Cairo. She was taken to Cairo International Airport and asked to board a flight to London. 

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