When it comes to blogging in Egypt maybe “Honesty isn’t the best policy”

When it comes to blogging in Egypt maybe “Honesty isn’t the best policy”

It seems that saying or writing what you think may get you into a lot of trouble. The latest in a number of deportations from Egypt include Per Bjorklund, a Swedish journalist and blogger specializing in Egyptian labour issues who was stopped by security at Cairo airport early Tuesday and was set to be deported from the country.

 Bjorklund who spent the last year covering labour strikes in Egypt, was returning to the country from his native Sweden via Prague, when he was detained. Egyptian blogger and journalist Hossam El-hamalawy revealed “Officials came up to Per and requested him to go with them. He was detained and we tried to contact him but his mobile had turned off we learnt later that he may have been deported. We have no idea what offences he may have done”.

The Swedish Embassy in Cairo told The Associated Press they were working on the case and trying to learn from the Egyptians why Bjorklund was being expelled.

“We haven’t been able to get in touch with him,” said Joakim Vaverka, embassy press counselor, adding that it was unclear whether he was still in Egypt. “If he hasn’t left he will be asked to leave but we don’t know if that decision has been executed yet.”

Similar incidents have occurred with numerous bloggers such as Travis Randall from America and Philip Rizk a German-Egyptian. Both are activists who have been known to unite in solidarity with human rights issues such as that of the Palestinian cause, apparently an issue which is met by sensitivity by the Egyptian government when any mention of its policy is made.

In fact police have detained numerous bloggers and hundreds of members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood following their criticism of Egypt’s involvement in the closure of the Gaza Strip, especially during the Israeli attacks there in late December.