In the early hours of Thursday morning, Giorgio Caracciolo, DIGNITY’s Deputy Director of International Programmes responsible for the Middle East and North Africa, was denied entry into Egypt at Cairo International Airport.
Giorgio Caracciolo, who works out of DIGNITY’s headquarters in Copenhagen, is an Italian citizen. He was scheduled to meet with Egyptian human rights defenders in the borders of the COP 27 climate conference, which currently takes place in Egypt. He had a valid visa and was accredited to the COP 27 as an NGO representative.
»At passport control, I got an entry stamp in my passport. When I had made like two steps into the country, I was called back. Apparently because something had appeared on the computer screen«, recounts Giorgio Caracciolo from an airport in Paris, to which he was deported.
He was travelling together with an employee of another international NGO, a Danish citizen, who was told to wait together with him but was eventually allowed to enter Egypt.
Giorgio Caracciolo was not given a reason for the rejection.
Some years ago, he was arbitrarily detained at the police station of the Cairo Airport for three hours with no access to communication to others. His phone and laptop were confiscated. Thereafter, he was allowed into the country.
DIGNITY CEO Rasmus Grue Christensen says:
»It is most worrying that a DIGNITY employee is denied entry. Even more worrying is, however, the impression this incident leaves of an Egyptian regime that is highly unwilling to allow civil society and independent human rights organisations to work and air legitimate criticism of the human rights situation in Egypt«. For a number of years, DIGNITY has worked together with Egyptian partners to prevent torture, rehabilitate torture survivors and support human rights defenders.