A senior member of Syria’s opposition has been “harassed” and detained at Cairo International Airport. This is the second time that the National Coalition’s Haitham Al-Maleh has been treated in such a way by the Egyptian authorities. He was detained for two hours following his arrival from London where he had been attending a “Friends of Syria” meeting.
Local sources told the media that although Al-Maleh carried a valid entry permit that he had obtained from the competent Egyptian authorities before departing for the UK, a security officer detained him at the airport. “This was done in a humiliating manner not befitting a man of Al-Maleh’s status and age,” it was claimed The officer in question is alleged to have used offensive language.
When Al-Maleh asked what was happening, the officer is said to have told him, “If you do not like it, you can return to Syria. What are you doing in Egypt anyway?” He was ordered to remain in the arrivals hall until all the other passengers had left before he was allowed entry.
The noted judge was denied entry at the airport for a full day two months ago. He was held until prominent Egyptian political figures and Arab League officials intervened.
Syrian refugees in Egypt have been complaining about the inhumane manner in which the Egyptian authorities treat them. Since the ousting of President Morsi in July this has included mass deportation back to Syria.