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French tourist who went missing in Egypt for one year 'reappears'

Yann Bourdon 'presented himself to the French consulate in Cairo' last week and is now back in France, but he does not wish to speak about his ordeal
Yann Bourdon's family had expressed anger at the lack of response from Egyptian authorities about his whereabouts (Supplied)

Yann Bourdon, a 27-year-old French national, has appeared in Egypt one year after he went missing during a summer holiday, a rights group told Middle East Eye on Monday.

The student of history at Sorbonne University in Paris lost contact with his family on 4 August 2021 shortly after going out for dinner with an off-duty police officer, according to the family's account, shared with MEE.

The Geneva-based Committee for Justice, which has documented Bourdon's case since July, revealed on Monday that he showed up at the French consulate in Cairo on 9 August.

"He communicated with his family through a phone call. The next day, 10 August 2022, Mr Bourdon safely travelled back to France," CFJ said in a statement.

"In order to respect Mr Bourdon's wish to remain silent on the reasons for his disappearance, we will not communicate any details on his disappearance since 4 August 2021, to allow him to return to his normal life," the group said.

CFJ has previously said Bourdon's case may amount to "enforced disappearance". It has submitted a complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to urge the UN to pressure Egypt and France to hold transparent investigations. 

Bourdon's mother, Isabel Leclercq, previously told Middle East Eye that neither French nor Egyptian authorities were able to provide answers on Bourdon's whereabouts. 

Prior to his reappearance, CFJ said the last detailed email Bourdon sent to his family was on 28 July 2021, when he said that he was going to the city of Suez to meet an off-duty police officer who wanted to "talk to him". The officer told him he was returning from his holidays and that he could give Bourdon a ride to Cairo.

The officer dropped Bourdon at an underground station in central Cairo. Before allowing him to leave, the police officer invited Bourdon to join him for dinner with some friends. Bourdon agreed and joined them on the night of 28 July. On 4 August, Bourdon replied to his sister's last email, confirming to her that he would write to the family soon. But they had not heard from him since that email.

"My son told us in an email that the police officer gave him a ride to Cairo. He was invited to have a drink with his friends that night, and since then he hasn't messaged us," Bourdon's mother told MEE after a protest in Paris last month.

CFJ has previously called for an investigation into the identity of the off-duty police officer whom Bourdon came into contact with, and called on the Giza prosecution to supply a copy of the surveillance camera footage from the bank where Bourdon made his last financial transactions.