Egypt arrested Hossam Bahgat for reporting on alleged coup plot by army officers

Published November 11th, 2015 - 11:30 GMT
According to Bahgat's report, 26 military officers for allegedly planning a coup. (File Photo)
According to Bahgat's report, 26 military officers for allegedly planning a coup. (File Photo)

An Egyptian journalist said he was detained and questioned by the military intelligence service for reporting about an alleged coup plot by a number of army officers against the current Egyptian regime.

Hossam Bahgat, a lawyer-turned journalist, was released Tuesday, two days after being detained.

“I have been questioned upon a request from the military intelligence service,” Bahgat wrote on his Facebook page.

He said he was pressured during his detention to give up his right to a lawyer to attend with him.

“I was finally allowed to make a phone call to tell a friend about my whereabouts and my need for a lawyer,” said Bahgat, the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a human rights NGO.

Bahgat’s detention has invited a storm of criticism at home and abroad, with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling for his release.

The accusations relate to Bahgat’s reporting on the conviction of 26 military officers for allegedly planning a coup.

Last year, Bahgat began working for Mada Masr, an online news website, for which he has written a series of articles about the Egyptian army and the ongoing military trials.

In October, he wrote an article about the trial of 26 military officers convicted earlier this year of conspiring with the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to stage a coup against Egypt’s current government.

The article was based on official documents, including an indictment issued by the military prosecutor, and interviews with the concerned officers’ families.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), more than 20 journalists have been detained by Egyptian authorities since the 2013 coup against President Mohamed Morsi.

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