Hossam Bahgat to be detained for four days pending investigations by military prosecution

Ahram Online , Monday 9 Nov 2015

Investigative reporter and human rights activist Bahgat is charged with 'publishing false information'

Hossam Bahgat
Hossam Bahgat (Photo: Al-Ahram)

Egypt's investigative reporter, human rights activist, and Mada Masr contributor Hossam Bahgat is being detained for four days pending investigations by military prosecution, according to Lina Attalah, Mada Masr founder and editor. 

Lawyer Ragia Omran told Ahram Online in a phone call from the military prosecution that the location of Bahgat's detention is still unknown. 

"It is unknown where Bahgat is currently being detained or where his four day detention will be, and that his family is trying to find out to deliver his medications. " lawyer Hassan El-Azhary told Ahram Online in a phone call Monday morning. 

The military prosecution has previously promised to release Bahgat on Monday, Nasser Amin, one of the lawyers present at Bahgat's interrogation, told Ahram Online earlier on Monday.

Bahgat was referred to Egypt's military prosecution on Sunday on charges of publishing false and inaccurate information that harms national security.

The renowned human rights activist and investigative reporter was interrogated by Egyptian Military Intelligence after being summoned, according to Mada Masr.

One of several lawyers attending the interrogations said the prosecution had promised to release Bahgat on Monday morning.

"We are waiting for him to be released. That's what the prosecution had promised us," lawyer Nasser Amin told Ahram Online on Monday.

According to Attalah, Bahgat said in a phone call on Sunday that he had been charged, moved to military prosecution, and was awaiting interrogations.

According to a statement released by Amnesty International on Sunday, “The arrest [of Bahgat]… is a clear signal of the Egyptian authorities’ resolve to continue with their ferocious onslaught against independent journalism and civil society.”

The investigative journalist became a contributor for Mada Masr in 2014, writing prominent stories like The Arab Sharkas Cell: The quasi-covert trial of Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, The Mubarak Mansions, and Who Let the Jihadis Out?

Bahgat founded the human rights organisation the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) in 2002 and remained its executive director until 2013.

In August 2011, Human Rights Watch (HRW) honoured Hossam Bahgat “for upholding the personal freedoms of all Egyptians," on the occasion of his winning HRW'S Alison Des Forges Award.

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