Lebanese activist with petition gets kicked out of Egypt the same day! Egyptian authorities deported an activist who wanted to present a petition opposing the death sentences given to 529 supporters of toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.
AP Wissam Tarif, a Lebanese national who works for Avaaz, an online activism network, arrived in Egypt on Tuesday morning and was deported that evening, Avaaz spokesman Sam Barratt said. Tarif intended to present the petition to Egypt’s top Islamic official, Mufi Shawki Ibrahim Abdel-Karim, on Thursday, Barratt said. Under Egyptian law, the official must approve all death sentences before they can be carried out.
Tarif arrived Thursday at Cairo’s international airport, where officials detained him at passport control because his name was on a watch list, an airport official said. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to journalists.
Barratt said that Tarif had a valid Egyptian visa. “In Egypt today, peacefully delivering a massive petition to a religious leader is deemed a threat to national security,” Tarif said in a statement. “They tried to silence 1 million voices with my deportation, but our campaign will now intensify.”
A court sentenced the 529 to death on March 24 for an attack on a police station that killed a police officer, convicting them after only two hearings in a mass trial that activists criticized.