Cairo, 29 May:
One hundred and twenty-six Egyptian workers who had been refused entry to Libya and been flown back to Egypt . . .[restrict]initially refused to get off the plane when it landed in Cairo in protest at what had happened to them. They had flown to Libya via Tunisia on a group visa, been refused entry and then sent back to Egypt, again via Tunisia.
The incident, reported in Akhbar Al-Yawm (Today’s News) occurred last Saturday. They were sent back because the Libyan authorities now refuse to accept group visas.
Last week, following Libya’s refusal to allow entry to 154 Egyptian workers travelling on a group visa, the head of the passports department at Cairo International Airport said that Egyptians would no longer be allowed to travel to Libya on such visas unless their names have been individually approved by the Libyan embassy in Egypt. Otherwise there would have to be separate visas for every individual.
In this latest case, however, the new Cairo decision did not apply because the men were thought to be travelling to Tunisia. No visas are required there.
It is reported that in this latest case, the group visa was issued by a Cairo travel agency and was therefore illegal.
The agency is said to have now promised to resolve the problem. It intends to obtain individual visas for each person so they can return to Libya in the next few days.