CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egyptian police prevented prominent Muslim Brotherhood member Essam el-Erian from travelling to Turkey on Friday, saying his name was on a black list, Erian told Reuters.
It was the third time in four months that Erian, who heads the Brotherhood’s political department, has tried and failed to get through Cairo airport and travel abroad.
An official in the Interior Ministry media centre said he had no comment on the incident, but an unnamed airport official confirmed it.
Erian was part of a group of 27 doctors going to Turkey on Friday morning on a vacation organised by the Doctors Syndicate, of which Erian has been a senior official. He said the syndicate had given the authorities a list of the doctors in the group and no one had objected to his name. “I no longer ask (if they will let me travel) because it has become silly, that one should have to ask for one’s natural right,” he added.
Since the doctors are taking a charter flight, Erian could not rejoin them even if the authorities relent, he said. The government calls the Brotherhood an outlawed organisation, but its members hold one fifth of the seats in parliament and the group can operate with some limited freedom.