Former Egyptian presidential candidate detained at Cairo airport

Former Egyptian presidential candidate Khaled Ali was released on Tuesday after he was detained in Cairo Airport for 40 minutes, Egyptian human rights lawyer Gamal Eid said in a Twitter post.

Earlier on Tuesday, several activists wrote on social media that Ali was held, along with a former senior member of an Egyptian opposition political party, upon their return from Tunisia where Ali was honored in a ceremony by a non-governmental civil society organisation for his anti-corruption efforts.

The two activists’ brief detention was confirmed by an airport security source quoted by Anadolu Agency. “They will be asked some questions; this is a routine procedure” then they will be allowed to leave the airport free after the questioning is over, he said, without naming the security body that held them.

Anadolu could not obtain an immediate official comment from the Egyptian authorities.

Ali is prominent activist and lawyer, known for filing a lawsuit against the Egyptian state’s decision to hand over the sovereignty over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.  He was one of the contesters in Egypt’s 2012 presidential election, which was won by Mohamed Morsi. Morsi was ousted in 2013 in a military coup led by then-Defence Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Ali was accompanied at the airport by Ahmed Fawzy, who is a former secretary general of the Egyptian Democratic Party. Both were held at the airport upon their return from the Tunisia.

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