Sunday, November 8, 2015

Hossam Bahgat detained over an investigation report

Investigative reporter Hossam Bahgat is currently spending the night at the military prosecution after a long day where he was interrogated allegedly over an investigative report he made in Mada Masr last month.
Hossam Bahgat

Oh yes, the renowned former human rights activist and founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights “EIPR” can face a military trial over his investigative report.

It started earlier this morning when Mada Masr announced that its contributor and investigative reporter Hossam Bahgat was summoned to the military intelligence early morning.

According to the independent News website, Egypt’s military intelligence summoned Bahgat officially on Thursday at his official registered address in Alexandria.

Today, he went there to see what they wanted.
For nearly 7 or 8 hours, nobody knew anything but everyone knew what it was about.
It was about his in-depth investigative report published on 14 October 2015 about “ the secret military trial of 26 officers for allegedly a coup plotting with the Muslim Brotherhood”. You read it right.
Hossam Bahgat investigated a small BBC Arabic News and other news website speaking about that military trial with names and dates.

Bahgat investigated and brought to us the story with names and photos as well dates and testimonies from the relatives of those officers allegedly accused of plotting a coup.

Thinking about it now, it was one hell of a daring decision to publish this report by Bahgat’s name in the byline like that in Mada Masr as we are speaking about Egypt 2015 and not Egypt 2011 after all.
After nearly 8 hours, founder of Mada Masr and her editor-in-chief Lina Attalah got a very short call from Bahgat telling her that he was referred to military prosecution with nothing official or clear about the reasons behind that.

In a short time, nearly 25 lawyers attended the investigation with Hossam Bahgat at the military prosecution including a lawyer from Egypt’s journalists syndicate “despite he is not a member in the syndicate” and former Presidential candidate Khaled Ali.

After couple of hours, Hossam Bahgat was officially charged with two charges: Deliberate reporting of false news that harms the national security and publishing rumors that harms the national peace !!
He will  remain in custody till Monday morning so the military prosecution reaches to decision whether to release him or to detain him and refer him to military court heavens forbid.
Heba Morayef, the human rights activist explains what happened to him from a legal perspective.

Human rights lawyer and the member of the State’s National council for Human rights said that the summoning of Bahgat to the military intelligence and then referring him to the military prosecution was an invalid procedure and he should be released immediately.

He also added that all the procedures taken against him today were unconstitutional.

This is what Nasser Amin said. Officially we do not know yet which report or rumor Hossam Bahgat is accused of spreading so far but all fingers point to the “coup plot”.

Now I would like to hint out that Hossam Bahgat did not report or spread rumors about the army and he was not the first one to speak about “that coup” publicly in the media.

In August, the following websites spoke about the trial of those officers for allegedly plotting a coup: BBC Arabic, Al-Jazeera, Huffington Post Arabi and Al-Arabi Al-Gadeed

Al-Arabi Al-Gadeed continued covering the case and in early October, the London-based newspaper published a report with a copy of the original case documents.

The news website did not publish the name of the reporter in the byline keeping it anonymous.
Searching online, it turned out that the case of those officers and their names as well photos were exposed for the first time in June 2015 in a Pro-Muslim Brotherhood TV channel. 

Also, Hossam Bahgat as a true investigative reporter doubles if not triples check his sources working on official trial documents as his lead in any case as I have noticed. Journalism is not a crime.

I know Hossam Bahgat from the media since the days of Mubarak when he used to defend the rights of minorities like Christians and Bahai’s through EIPR which he founded in young age.
After the ouster of Mubarak,  Bahgat and a team of human rights researchers in EIPR produced a short documentary abut what happened in 5 prisons during the January revolution where it was mentioned how Police General Mohamed El-Batran was killed.

He was also very critical to and criticized openly SCAF and the military police during then.
After quitting his job as human rights researcher and director of EIPR, Bahgat joined independent Mada Masr news website as an investigative reporter.

In February 2014, he wrote an investigative report about who really let the Egyptian Jihadists out killing the myths in Egypt that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were behind the release of Jihadists after the January revolution.

In May 2014, he published an amazing investigative report about the Presidential palaces case where ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were found guilty of embezzlement.

In September 2014, Hossam Bahgat wrote a revealing in-depth investigative report about the Arab Sharkas cell. It is only true investigative report till now that dealt with that case in Egypt.
Now more people from around the globe and Egypt have read Bahgat’s investigative report about “that coup trial thing” today than the number of people who read it and share whether in Arabic or English in October.

Let’s hope that he will be released tomorrow inshallah.


  1. Does this regime even have a brain? They are shooting themselves in the foot. Arresting activists, offending countries where tourists come from, calling to boycott American and British products, and even straining our ties with the Saudis and gulf states. I am not sure they could continue for long if they continue the same old, something will have to give.

  2. الله عليكم يارجاله
    ايوه كده هو حسام هو السبب فى سقوط الطيارة الروسية وهو السبب فى امطار اسكندرية
    مش متاكد بصراحة انه هو السبب فى ازمة الدولار بس مافيش مانع برده
    كل ما تتزنق خارجيا اصطاد لك شوية
    من بتوع حقوق الانسان الاشرار
    واخبطهم اى تهم وخلاص


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