Alia Mosallam, Egyptian Academic Detained upon Arrival at Cairo Airport

Updated: Sep 1

On Sunday July 11, 2021 Egyptian security forces arrested Alia Mosallam, a historian and postdoctoral fellow at Germany’s Alexander van Humboldt Foundation. Alia Mosallam had flown to Cairo from Berlin with her husband and three children. Mosallam was held at the airport for 17 hours and interrogated several times by Egyptian intelligence officers.

Photo : Twitter


The arbitrary detention of academics, students and journalists upon their return to Egypt has become common under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s rule.


In February 2021, Egyptian security forces detained Ahmed Samir Santawy, a Central European University student who traveled to Egypt for a family visit. On June 23, 2021, an Egyptian court convicted Santawy, for “spreading false news” and sentenced him to four years in prison.


Likewise, in February 202, Egyptian officials arrested Patrick George Zaki after landing in Cairo's international airport for a family visit. Zaki was studying for his master's at the University of Bologna in Italy. Reports indicate that the authorities had beaten and tortured Zaki by electric shock.


Endangered Scholars Worldwide considers the detention of Egyptian academic, a flagrant and unjust violation of the freedom, security, and safety of scholars and students in Egypt, and we deplore and condemn the ongoing detention and persecution. We call upon all international organizations, academic and professional associations, and other groups and individuals devoted to the promotion and defense of human rights to protest and condemn these arbitrary incarcerations; to call for the immediate and unconditional release of scholars and students in prison; and to urge the officials of the Egyptian government to respect, guarantee, and implement the provisions and principles of human rights.