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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08CAIRO2462 2008-12-03 16:00:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Cairo
Cable title:  

GOE APPARENTLY ALLOWS SECOND ACTIVIST TO TRAVEL TO

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM KPAO EG 
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VZCZCXRO7620
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #2462 3381600
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 031600Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0993
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 002462 

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR U/S GLASSMAN, NEA, NEA/ELA AND NEA/PPD
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR S/P, DRL/NESCA AND H
NSC FOR PASCUAL AND KUCHTA-HELBLING

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2028
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM KPAO EG
SUBJECT: GOE APPARENTLY ALLOWS SECOND ACTIVIST TO TRAVEL TO
THE YOUTH MOVEMENTS SUMMIT

REF: A. CAIRO 2454

B. CAIRO 2431

Classified By: DCM Matt Tueller for reason 1.4 (d).



1. (C) Summary and comment: April 6 Movement activist Ahmed
Saleh (reftels) told us the morning of December 3 that GOE
security officials allowed him to proceed to his Egypt Air
flight to New York after they briefly pulled him out of the
departure lounge to hold his passport and search his bags.
Just before the flight departed, Saleh indicated to us that
he was on the plane, e-mailing us to ask that we ensure his
participation in the summit does not become public so that he
does not face retribution from the GOE upon his return to
Egypt. We believe that Saleh was able to depart on an Egypt
Air flight to New York, scheduled to arrive at 3:15 PM EST.
Separately, opposition Al-Ghad party member and activist
Ahmed Nassar (reftels) told us December 2 that State Security
has deferred a response on his travel ban until December 5,
when the summit will have concluded. We agree strongly that
publicizing Saleh's participation in the summit could
endanger his safety upon his return to Egypt. End Summary
and comment.



2. (C) As he was waiting in the departure lounge to board the
flight after security officers released him, Saleh told us
that he was careful not to have placed any documentation
about the summit in his bags that the officers could have
found. Just before Saleh's scheduled flight left Cairo, he
e-mailed us the following message in reference to his earlier
brush with security officers: "I think they (GOE security)
just wanted me to know they are on to me. Please explain
what happened to DC and stress again on the security concerns
I explained over and over again. My name or face should not
appear anywhere as a participant or I'll be arrested upon
arrival (upon his return to Egypt)."



3. (C) Separately, opposition Al-Ghad party member Ahmed
Nassar told us the evening of December 2 that State Security
in Alexandria told him they would respond to his questions
about his travel ban on December 5. Nassar commented to us
that State Security is delaying a response until the summit
concludes on December 5. Nassar told us December 3 that he
had not received any additional information from State
Security regarding his travel ban, and that his Ghad party
colleagues have advised him to stay close to his home in
Alexandria through the December 10 conclusion of the Eid
holiday. Independent newspaper "Al-Masry Al-Youm" reported
December 3 that Nassar plans to file a complaint to the
public prosecutor requesting an explanation for his travel
ban, as well as a suit against the Interior Minister for
infringing on his "political rights." Nassar told us that
the press report is not accurate.



4. (C) Comment: In light of the GOE apparently allowing
Saleh to travel to the U.S., we believe it will be important
for the USG to avoid initiating a sharp public exchange with
the GOE over the conference, which could lead the GOE to take
measures against Saleh when he returns to Egypt. It is
unclear to us why State Security allowed Saleh, but not
Nassar to travel. The GOE arguably views Saleh as more of a
"security threat" because of his prominent position in the
April 6 Movement, as opposed to Nassar's more peripheral
role. It is possible that State Security allowed Saleh to
travel because it did not want to risk further USG
interventions following our December 2 demarches on Nassar's
behalf (ref A). More ominously, State Security could be
planning to gather information about Saleh's activities and
meetings in the U.S. in order to act against him when he
returns to Egypt. Therefore, it is essential that we respect
Saleh's request to keep him out of the public spotlight in
the U.S. as much as possible.
SCOBEY