Bahgat, who was detained and interrogated for three days in November by military intelligence officers, wrote on Facebook that officials at the airport told him that the order confining him to the country had come from Egypt’s public prosecutor, but they could provide no details of any case against him.

With some exasperation, the reporter pointed out that this surprise punishment by the Egyptian judicial system came as he was on his way to Jordan “to participate in the United Nations meeting on justice in the Arab world!”

The travel ban was quickly condemned by Egyptian activists, including Heba Morayef, the associate director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a prominent human rights group that Bahgat founded and led before turning his attention to journalism after the country’s 2011 revolution. Writing on Twitter, Morayef observed that the space for dissent against Egypt’s authoritarian government seemed to be narrowing, given that the restrictions on Bahgat were imposed just weeks after a similar ban was placed on Gamal Eid, a lawyer with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and days after health officials ordered the closure of El Nadeem, a renowned clinic for the rehabilitation of torture victims.

Hossam Bahgat has just been banned from travel. After Gamal Eid travel ban + Nadim Center closure order. Closing in.