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Egypt Releases Journalist, Rights Advocate Hossam Bahgat

  • VOA News

Leading investigative journalist and human rights advocate, Hossam Bahgat is greeted by colleagues and friends in his office at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Garden City, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015.

Leading investigative journalist and human rights advocate, Hossam Bahgat is greeted by colleagues and friends in his office at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights in Garden City, Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015.

The Egyptian military has released journalist and human rights advocate Hossam Bahgat, a day after the United Nations and a human rights group denounced his detention.

Egyptian authorities detained Bahgat on Sunday, accusing him of spreading "false news" in an October report about 26 officers he said had been convicted by a military court of plotting a coup.

Bahgat is one of Egypt's best-known human rights advocates, founding a group called the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

His lawyer said Bahgat's legal status remains unclear or whether he still would face a military trial. The army had accused him of "compromising national security" and writing about the military without permission.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon voiced his concern about Bahgat's detention Monday, with a spokesman calling it "profoundly worrying."

Amnesty International said Bahgat's arrest signaled that Egyptian authorities are intent on continuing "their ferocious onslaught against independent journalism and civil society."

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