CAIRO - A leading Bahraini opposition activist said she had been refused entry to Egypt at Cairo airport on Sunday, accusing Arab governments of continuing repressive security cooperation despite political change in the region.
Maryam al-Khawaja, the Denmark-based international spokesperson for the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said she had hoped to enter Egypt for a few hours to see friends on a stopover while flying to South Africa.
She said officials at Cairo airport first stamped her passport but then cancelled her visa after realizing she was a Bahraini activist. "They said I wouldn't be allowed in but wouldn't tell me why," she said by telephone shortly before flying out of Cairo on Sunday evening.
An Egyptian airport official and a security source, who declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Khawaja's name was on a list of people to be denied entry at the airport.
"The ban is based on a memorandum from the national security authorities," the security source said.