Prominent activist returns to Cairo

Saad Eddin Ibrahim, a human rights activist and political opposition figure, returned  to Cairo on Thursday morning from London. The former director of Ibn Khaldon Center for Developmental Studies will stay for two weeks to visit family. For the past three years, Ibrahim has been in voluntary exile in the US.

Official sources at Cairo Airport revealed that Ibrahim arrived with his American wife, Barbara Ibrahim, on an Egyptian airliner. They noted that airport officers did not apprehend him while he finished his entry procedures, allowing him to exit through the customs area.

Ibrahim was received by friends and relatives, including his brother, Ahmed, the current director of Ibn Khaldoun, who noted that his brother's stay will be limited to family visits and meetings with employees at the center. He pointed out that no prior arrangement had been made with security or political authorities.  

Ibrahim told reporters, “I am very happy to be back in Egypt, and am very touched by this reception," he said, adding that his entry procedures were finished easily and without any objection from authorities. He said that he will only make family visits and does not intend to engage in any public activities.

Ibrahim was litigated in absentia over three years in 14 cases, all related to threatening social stability and national security, espionage, and receiving foreign funds. These were the same charges for which he had been sentenced to three years in prison in 2000, though he was acquitted in some of the new suits, while courts labelled other cases as out of their jurisdiction.

Ibrahim has been in voluntary exile for three years due to unfavorable statements about NDP figures, some of whom filed lawsuits against him.

There are still nine pending reports filed against Ibrahim at the Attorney General’s office, acording to his lawyer, Shadi Talaat, who added that this makes Ibrahim wary of the possibility that he might be barred from travelling back to the US.

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