Times journalist expelled from Egypt amid media crackdown ahead of upcoming elections

A British journalist has been expelled from Egypt as authorities crack down on the media ahead of the country’s upcoming presidential elections.

Bel Trew, the Times’s Cairo correspondent, was ordered to leave late last month having been detained three weeks ago, according to the newspaper.

The journalist was driven to the airport by police and made to board a flight to London.

A spokesperson for The Times said: “The circumstances of her detention and the threats made against her were sufficiently outlandish to suggest that a mistake had been made, based on a misunderstanding.

“We have since been trying to ensure her safe return to Cairo, in time to cover the presidential election. It is now clear that the authorities have no intention of allowing her to return.”

“The Times deplores this attempt by the Egyptian authorities to intimidate the media and suppress our coverage.

“This is sadly in line with the increasingly oppressive environment that President Sisi has created for both domestic and international press.”

Trew says she had been listed as a “persona non-grata” and that Egyptian authorities have reportedly threatened to re-arrest her if she attempts to return.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (pictured) is seeking a second term in office.

Last month Egypt’s State Information Service accused the BBC of “lies and false allegations” over reports claiming the country’s political opponents have been “rounded up” ahead of the election.

Egypt is ranked 161 out of 180 countries on Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index.

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