Middle East

Egypt denies entry to Yemeni Nobel laureate

Peace prize winner Tawakul Karman who voiced support for ousted president Mohamed Morsi was put on flight back to Dubai.

Last Modified: 05 Aug 2013 02:27
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Karman, a 34-year-old mother of three, became a figure of symbolic importance in the 2011 Yemeni uprising [AFP]

Egyptian authorities have barred Yemeni Nobel Peace laureate Tawakul Karman from entering the country on Sunday and put her on a flight back to Dubai, security sources said.

State news agency MENA said Karman, who had previously announced her solidarity with supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, was on a list of people who were not allowed to enter Egypt.

Interview: Tawakul Karman

A spokesperson for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood said Karman had recently joined demonstrations in Cairo demanding the former leader be reinstated.

Karman's Twitter feed on Sunday said the writer and activist had been held at Cairo Airport and was prevented from joining protests.

She was sent back on the same plane she flew in on, the security sources said on Sunday.

The Brotherhood criticised Karman's deportation and said it was reminiscent of the rule of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

"This is an abandonment of the gains of Egypt's January revolution. The government is reproducing the practices of Mubarak's state security," said Yasser Ali, a Brotherhood official and former presidential spokesperson.

'Iron woman'

Karman, a 34-year-old mother of three, who became a figure of symbolic importance in the 2011 Yemeni uprising, was the first Arab woman and second Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In Yemen she is called the "Iron Woman" and "Mother of the Revolution".

Karman, a member of Yemen's leading Islamic opposition party, al-Islah, had denounced the army's toppling of Morsi, calling it a "coup" and a "blow to democracy".

In a statement on Friday, she said it had weakened moderate political Islam and strengthened the hand of religious fighters in the Arab world.

"We can't allow this sense of disappointment in democracy to grow. This is terrifying. Rest assured the first beneficiary of the weakening currents of political Islam are violent terror groups."

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Source:
Reuters
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