A British-Lebanese talk show host, Liliane Daoud, who had faced criticism for her opposition to Egyptian President Abdel Fata al-Sisi, has been deported from the country over apparent visa irregularities.
Daoud, who had previously worked as a reporter for the BBC and hosted a political talk show on the private, pro-government channel ONTV, was detained on Monday night (27 June) at her home and in front of her 10-year-old daughter, the Associated Press reported. Hours later, Daoud was escorted by security officials to Cairo International Airport and boarded a flight to Beirut.
The journalist's lawyer Zyad Elelaimy took to Twitter in the aftermath of his client's arrest to say he would challenge the deportation.
"Daoud was arrested after eight men, who claimed to be from the Egyptian Passport Control Authority, raided her house and forced her to leave with them, in order to deport her from Egypt," Elelaimy posted on Facebook. "They prevented her from making any calls and confiscated her mobile phone," he added.
Daoud broke with the increasingly censored and self-censoring Egyptian press, airing controversial criticism of the government and Egyptian President Abdel Fata al-Sisi. Egypt's military government has had little tolerance for criticism following the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Morsi in June 2013.
While thousands of activists other dissenting voices in Egypt have been detained in the country as part of a broad political crackdown, a poor economy and a failure to deal with entrenched problems in Egyptian society have robbed Sisi of his popularity.
The Daily News Egypt reported that Daoud had been contracted to host a TV show with ONTV since 2011. In the country's shifting media landscape ONTV became increasingly jingoistic in the build up to Morsi's ouster and afterwards.