Egypt: NPWJ and the NRPTT strongly condemn the arrest of prominent journalist Hossam Bahgat as another blow for freedom of expression

9 Nov, 2015 | Press Releases

Brussels-Rome, 9 November 2015

Today, the Egyptian Military Prosecution ordered the detention of prominent investigative journalist Hossam Bahgat for four days, pending investigation into charges of publishing false news that harms national interests and disseminating information that disturbs public peace. The charges have reportedly been brought in connection with articles that Mr Bahgat wrote last month about the military trial of 26 military officers who were accused and convicted of planning a coup against Egypt’s President, which the military has deemed to be a threat to its security.
Mr Bahgat is a contributor to the independent news site Mada Masr, as well as the founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent Egyptian human rights organisation.

Statement by Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, Secretary-General of No Peace Without Justice:

“No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) and the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) firmly condemn the arrest and detention of Hossam Bahgat and call upon the Egyptian authorities to ensure his prompt and unconditional release. We stand in solidarity with Mr Bahgat, who has dedicated his life to ensure the right to know for Egyptian citizens and promote pluralistic, open and democratic journalism as a major tool for protecting and defending human rights in his country.

“Sadly, Mr Bahgat’s arbitrary detention is just the latest example of an ongoing campaign of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary restrictions carried out over the last two years by Egyptian political and judicial authorities against independent journalism and civil society.

“So far, the response of the international community towards this authoritarian drift and the deterioration of the human rights situation in Egypt has been very weak. It has provided little incentive for the Egyptian authorities to stop their repressive and retaliatory practices against peaceful human rights advocates and political dissenters.

“It is way past time for the international community, and the European Union and its Member States in particular, to take immediate concrete steps to make the Egyptian authorities accountable and comply with their obligations under international human rights laws and norms. We look forward to them reacting to this latest blow to freedom of expression in Egypt with the seriousness it warrants and calling for the immediate release of Hossam Bahgat. Failure to do so will, in reality, simply mean siding with tyranny and repression”.

For further information, please contact: Gianluca Eramo, MENA Democracy Program Coordinator, email:, phone: +32 2 548 39 25 or Nicola Giovannini on or +32 2 548 39 15.