Thursday, June 30, 2016

Top Lebanese TV anchor arrested, deported from Egypt

Associated Press 
Top Lebanese TV presenter detained, deported from Egypt

Daoud's TV show was critical of the Egyptian government

June 28, 2016
A prominent Lebanese journalist who hosted a talk show on Egypt’s private ONTV critical of the government of President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi arrived in Beirut on Tuesday after authorities in Cairo briefly detained and then deported her, her lawyer said.

Lilian Daoud could not immediately be reached for comment. Her lawyer, Zyad Al Elaimy, wrote on his Twitter account that her first comment after landing in Beirut was that she will challenge the decision to deport her.

There was no formal explanation for Daoud’s deportation from Egypt.

An Egyptian security official, speaking on Monday on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters, said Daoud’s residency permit expired after her contract with the ONTV station was terminated.

Al Elaimy said eight men in plainclothes had escorted Daoud from her home in an upscale suburb in Cairo, where she has lived for years, late on Monday, after she announced on her social media account that the network had ended her contract.

Her 10-year-old daughter was there when the men took Daoud away, allowing her no time to pick up luggage. She only called her family from the plane before it headed to Beirut, Al Elaimy said.

The decision to abruptly deport Douad shocked her colleagues and other public figures.

Mohammad Al Baradei, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and one of the Egyptian uprising’s spiritual fathers who now lives in self-imposed exile, applauded Daoud for her professional reporting.

“One day we may have enough self-confidence to understand the value of having different opinions,” he said in a subtle jab at the local authorities.

Daoud formerly worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation, and lived in London before moving to Egypt.

Her talk show aired critical views of Egyptian President Al Sissi’s government. Since the military overthrow of President Mohammad Morsi in 2013, the government has shown little tolerance for criticism, banning protests and taking programs off the air.

Satirical TV host Bassem Youssef — once described as the Jon Stewart of Egypt and whose program was taken off the air for his criticism of the government — said her arrest is “just the beginning.”

“Egypt ... can’t tolerate the rest of the world,” Youssef, who has also left Egypt, wrote on his Facebook.

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