Egypt Orders Travel Ban on Human Rights Lawyer Khaled Ali

Another human rights activist will appear before an investigating judge on Tuesday to be questioned in the case

Egyptian rights lawyer Khaled Ali leaving a courthouse in Cairo, Egypt, November 8, 2017.
Nariman El-Mofty/AP

An Egyptian judge on Saturday ordered a travel ban on prominent human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali over suspected illegal foreign funding for civil society groups, state media reported. 

The case dates to 2011, when several rights groups, non-governmental organizations and activists were accused of illegally receiving funds from abroad with the aim of harming national security.

Ali is accused of being connected with the case, state TV reported, without providing details of his role.

Another human rights activist, Israa Abdel Fattah, will appear on Tuesday before an investigating judge to be questioned in the case.

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Last month, an Egyptian appeals court upheld a suspended three-month prison sentence for Ali on charges of public indecency.

The charge dates back to January 2017, when Ali was accused of making an obscene gesture outside a Cairo courthouse after he managed to block a government deal to transfer the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Ali ran unsuccessfully in the 2012 elections, which brought Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood to power, a year after the 2011 popular uprising.
In 2013, the army, then led by Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, deposed Morsi following mass protests against his rule.

Al-Sissi was re-elected for a second four-year presidential term in March.