Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today welcomed the release of journalist Hossam Bahgat, and called on Egyptian authorities to release other civilians unlawfully detained for exercising their rights.
Bahgat, an investigative journalist and founder of a human rights advocacy group, was facing military prosecution for his journalism work, in violation of his right to freedom of expression. His detention was apparently prompted by an article he wrote about criminal convictions against 26 officers for allegedly plotting a coup.
“The detention of Hossam Bahgat points to a serious breakdown in the rule of law in Egypt,” said Donna McKay, PHR’s executive director. “Detentions and prosecutions of thousands of activists and the targeting of journalists belies the Egyptian government’s claim that it is committed to building a democratic society.”
Bahgat is an investigative journalist publishing in Mada Masr, an online news organization, who is also the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. His work has consistently focused on exposing human rights violations regardless of the political affiliation of those responsible.
It was not immediately clear whether he could still face charges following his release on Tuesday.