LONDON, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Two officials of the activist group Human Rights Watch claimed Monday they were denied entry into Egypt as they arrived with a report critical of Egyptian security actions.
Executive director of the London-based organization, Kenneth Roth, and Middle East Director Sarah Leah Whitson, said in a statement they were detained for 12 hours in Cairo's airport and then ordered out of the country. They went to Cairo to present a report, to be released Tuesday, of the deaths of over 800 people, which occurred during an Aug. 14, 2013 demonstration in Cairo, when security forces violently dispersed supporters loyal to deposed President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood. "We came to Egypt to release a serious report on a serious subject that deserves serious attention from the Egyptian government," Roth said in the statement. "Instead of denying the messenger entry to Egypt, the Egyptian authorities should seriously consider our conclusions and recommendations and respond with constructive action."
It was the first time Human Rights Watch representatives were denied entry to Egypt, the statement said.
A comment from Whitson, on social media, read, "It's official, shortest visit to Cairo ever, 12 hours before deportation for 'security reasons.' The new Egypt (is) certainly 'transitioning.'"