A New York Times correspondent was detained by Egyptian officials for several hours upon arriving in the country, the newspaper reports. David Kirkpatrick, the newspaper’s Cairo bureau chief between 2011 and 2015, was reportedly detained upon arrival at the Cairo airport Monday evening “without explanation.” According to the Times, officials then confiscated Kirkpatrick’s phone and held him without food or water for seven hours. On Tuesday morning, Kirkpatrick was reportedly escorted onto an EgyptAir flight back to London—where an air marshal held his passport until the plane arrived at Heathrow Airport. Spokesman for the United States Embassy in Cairo, Sam Werberg, told the newspaper that they’ve raised concerns about the Monday night incident with Egyptian officials. “We are deeply disturbed that the government of Egypt detained our correspondent, kept him incommunicado, denied him food or water and refused to allow him into the country,” Michael Slackman, international editor of the Times, said. “A free and open press is more essential than ever.” This comes as many of the country’s journalists have been subject to a crackdown under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
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