The Egyptian army has arrested a prominent journalist and human rights advocate, prompting condemnation by human rights groups.
Military intelligence arrested Hossam Bahgat, an investigative journalist and contributor at the local Mada Masr news outlet, on Sunday morning after delivering a summons to his home on Thursday. According to Mada Masr, Bahgat was chargedwith “publishing false news that harms national interests and disseminating information that disturbs public peace”. Hours later, Bahgat was referred to a military court. He was questioned over an article he published in October about what he called the secret military trial of 26 army officers reportedly plotting a coup.
In a statement published on Sunday night, Amnesty International said Bahgat’s arrest is part of the Egyptian authorities’ “ferocious onslaught against independent journalism and civil society”.
Philip Luther, director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme, slammed the move as “yet another nail in the coffin for the freedom of expression in Egypt”.