Egypt has barred American scholar and former U.S. State Department employee Michele Dunne from entering the country, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Dunne, who has criticized the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, is a senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Middle East program and a 17-year veteran of the State Department.
Carnegie’s website describes Dunne as an expert on political and economic change in Arab countries, especially Egypt. It says that she was stationed in Cairo and Jerusalem while serving as a State Department Middle East specialist from 1986 to 2003.
The Times said Dunne was traveling to a conference in Cairo organized by the Egyptian Council for Foreign Affairs. When she reached the Cairo airport, she was refused entry and held for about six hours before being put on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany.
Dunne said airport authorities did not tell her why she was barred from Egypt, except to say her name appeared on a no-entry list. There has been no comment from Egyptian officials.
"Some Egyptians complain I don’t list enough to pro govt views," Dunne tweeted in reaction Saturday. "When I accept invite to conf of pro govt group they deny me entry. Go figure."
Egypt apparently has not refused entry to a Western scholar for decades, the Times reported.
In August, Egypt barred two senior staff members from the group Human Rights Watch from entering the country ahead of the publication of a report accusing the government of possible crimes against humanity.