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Egypt bars journalist from leaving the country as crackdown on dissent widens
Hossam Bahgat was prevented from boarding a flight to Jordan when officials at Cairo International Airport informed him that his name had been added to a list of citizens barred from traveling abroad. THE INTERCEPT

Iran ‘releases former BBC Persian journalist on bail’
Bahman Daroshafaei, who has dual British and Iranian citizenship, was arrested at his home in Tehran on 3 February on unspecified charges. BBC NEWS

U.S. to further scour social media use of Visa and asylum seekers
The Department of Homeland Security, at the urging of Congress, is building tools to more aggressively examine the social media accounts of all visa applicants and those seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States for possible ties to terrorist organizations. NEW YORK TIMES

Former Turkish football star charged with insulting President Erdoğan
Hakan Şükür, who became an MP after retiring from football, faces up to four years in jail if convicted over tweets. AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Egypt’s President says criticism threatens the State
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi said Wednesday that unfair criticism of the government is contributing to attempts to bring down the state, telling Egyptians not to listen to anyone but him. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bahrain opposition leader jailed for insulting ruling system
Ibrahim Sharif, a prominent Bahraini opposition figure, was sentenced to a year in jail on Wednesday on charges of insulting the kingdom’s ruling system in a speech last year. REUTERS