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Tunisian writer banned from entering Egypt

Egyptian authorities told Tunisian writer Amal Karami she posed a 'national security threat' [Facebook]

Date of publication: 4 January, 2016

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Tunisia's famed feminist author Amal Karami says she has been banned from entering Egypt for posing a 'national security threat'.
Amal Karami has been barred from entering Egypt after landing at Cairo airport. The Tunisian university professor was detained overnight by airport authorities.

Karami was due to participate in a three-day conference on tackling extremism, hosted by the world-renowned Bibliotheca Alexandrina in collaboration with Egypt's prominent religious authority al-Azhar.

Karami shared the news of her detention via social media on Monday.

"I was banned from entering Egypt because I am a national security threat," Karami said, "When my pen is treated like as a sword, a spear or a Kalashnikov, threatening a country's security, it makes me wonder what is this that my hands have picked up?"

Karami is noted for her work against discrimination and on women's rights in the Arab world.

Her detention sparked outrage both within academia and on social media.

"The detention of the noted professor Amal Karami at Cairo airport is a great scandal," Egyptian writer Alaa Aswany tweeted, calling upon the Egyptian government to apologise.


The head of Tunisian Writers' Union, Salah al-din al-Hamadi, also expressed outrage.

"We denounce the attitude held by the Egyptian authorities under the current regime towards Arab writers and intellectuals," Hamadi said in a statement on Monday.

Egypt was recently ranked alongside China and Iran as one of the world's leading jailers of journalists.

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