CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt has increasingly used unlawful means to prevent citizens from traveling outside the country over the past year, a report from Human Rights Watch said on Sunday, another sign of the government's tightening grip on political opposition.
Members of political parties, youth activists, and people associated with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and former President Mohamed Mursi are among those who have been turned back at the airport, their passports often confiscated and not returned, the report said. "The Egyptian authorities have jailed thousands of dissidents in the past two years and are now turning the country's own borders into de facto prison walls," said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Egypt's interior ministry declined immediate comment. Human rights groups have accused Egyptian authorities of widespread violations since the army toppled Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. The groups say the government has rolled back freedoms won in the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule. READ MORE OF THIS FROM REUTERS NEWS WEBSITE