Egypt expels journalist working for French Catholic daily

Egypt has expelled a journalist working for the French Catholic daily La Croix “for no reason”, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Remy Pigaglio “was returning from holidays in France on Monday when he was detained by airport security,” the paper’s publication director Guillaume Goubert told AFP.

“After a night in the cells, he was expelled for no reason, although all his papers were in order,” Goubert added. Pigaglio, who also works for France’s RTL radio, was due back in Paris later Wednesday.

Goubert said airport police confiscated Pigaglio’s passport and mobile phone and that it was hours before he was able to contact the French embassy.

“It appears that Egypt’s intelligence service was behind the decision to expel” the correspondent, Goubert added.

In a statement published in La Croix, Pigaglio said no one had questioned him and he still did not know why he had been expelled.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s journalism union accused the authorities of declaring war on journalism in the country, denouncing what it said were increasing attacks on media freedom.

In late April, Amnesty International criticised the authorities for a crackdown on activists who had been planning an anti-government protest.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who was elected in 2014, was feted by millions of Egyptians opposed to the rule of his predecessor, Mohamed Morsi, whom he toppled in 2013.

But he faces growing discontent over what critics call his heavy-handed rule.
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