Monday,23 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1302, (30 June - 13 July 2016)
Monday,23 October, 2017
Issue 1302, (30 June - 13 July 2016)

Ahram Weekly

TV host deported

ONTV’s Lebanese-born TV host Liliane Daoud was deported to Beirut on Monday, reports Ahmed Morsy

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Less than two hours after Lebanese ONTV host Liliane Daoud announced that her contract had ended with the channel her home was raided by “eight policemen from the Immigration Authority”. She was given only “five minutes” before they drove her to the airport and officially deported her.

Ziad Al-Elaimi, Daoud’s lawyer, announced the news on Monday evening when he wrote on his Facebook page: “Daoud was arrested at her Cairo house after eight men from the immigration authorities raided it and she was transported to Cairo airport for deportation.”

Al-Elaimy added that the men prevented her from making any calls and confiscated her mobile phone before she left the house. Daoud also has a British passport. The lawyer said that Daoud had entered Egypt using her British passport and had not renewed her Lebanese passport for some time.

Daoud’s Egyptian ex-husband and journalist Khaled Al-Berri was at her home during the arrest. He was picking up their 10-year-old daughter to take her out for dinner.

“They gave her exactly five minutes. They refused to allow her to take anything with her, including her belongings, except her wallet. They also refused to let her call a lawyer or the [Lebanese] embassy,” Al-Berri wrote on his Facebook page.

Al-Berri told AFP that the men said they would check whether Daoud’s residence permit was valid, and that she would otherwise face deportation. Once Daoud’s work contract had ended her residence permit became invalid.

Al-Berri said he had never heard of a deportation that was carried out with such speed.

“We have to learn to treat people the way we wish to be treated in other countries. She had a residency permit and it’s not right that they said ‘Alright, goodbye’ as soon as her contract was up,” said Al-Berri.

Al-Berri posted about the incident on Monday night, commenting that Daoud’s deportation left their daughter shaken.

Al-Elaimy said that Daoud’s first words after arriving at Lebanon was, “We have to take all possible legal measures to let me return to Egypt.” According to Al-Elaimy, Daoud is the legal guardian of her Egyptian daughter and the primary parent responsible for the child’s education, and will thus be seeking to return to the country as soon as possible.

“The residency permit is renewed annually and it’s standard procedure. However, [immigration authorities] had not gotten back to her with an acceptance or rejection — which they usually do — for months. They also did not give her a date by which to leave the country,” Al-Elaimy said.

The Press Syndicate released a statement condemning the raid. A number of prominent media and political figures, including Mohamed Al-Baradei, Yousri Fouda and Bassem Youssef, have condemned the deportation.

Daoud was considered one of the few remaining critical voices in the Egyptian media. She hosted a TV show called Al-Soura Al-Kamla (The Full Picture) on ONTV as part of her contract with the channel since 2011.

Uncertainty surrounded the fate of her show after the announcement that some channel staff would be leaving. Mohamed Al-Garhi, the producer of Manchette, a TV programme presented by Gaber Al-Karmouti on the same channel, announced on Sunday that both he and Al-Karmouti would be leaving the channel.

The move follows the acquisition of ONTV by high-profile businessman Ahmed Abu Hashima from its former owner Naguib Sawiris in May. Apart from Abu Hashima’s new ownership of ONTV, the young businessman is one of the most important shareholders of Al-Youm Al-Sabei, one of Egypt’s most prominent news websites.

He is also chairman of the Egyptian Steel Group. The steel tycoon is well known for his generous financial support for the recently established Future of the Homeland Party, widely recognised for its support of President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi and the Egyptian government.

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