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Court orders detention of Egyptian TV anchor in ‘child abduction’ case

Reham Saeed has been detained for allegedly ‘inciting the kidnapping of two children.’ (Courtesy Al-Nahar TV)
CAIRO: Egypt’s Public Prosecution on Monday ordered the detention of controversial TV host Reham Saeed for her alleged “incitement” of a “child abduction” case as part of a program on the topic, it has been reported.
Saeed will be detained for four days pending investigations, along with her program’s producers and editors, on charges of “inciting the kidnapping of two children to prepare an episode of the program,” newspaper reports said.
The prosecution had previously ordered the detention of the program’s producer and photographer for 15 days in relation to the case.
Saeed has been off air for the past few weeks after an episode on child kidnapping in Egypt landed her in hot water.
It is reported that a producer in her team got in touch with a gang that kidnaps children and puts them for sale. Allegedly pretending to be a customer for the purpose of the episode, the producer contacted the gang and asked if she could purchase “two children for 300,000 Egyptian pounds,” to which the gang agreed.
On the day the gang decided to hand over the children, the producer said authorities were informed of the matter, and knew the time and location of where the children were going to be exchanged.
It is reported that police had raided the location, arrested the kidnappers and freed the children.
But the “Sabaya El-Khair” program team were later accused by the kidnapers of “inciting the abduction of the children” by offering the money.
Saeed reportedly faces three charges: The assistance and incitement to kidnap children; broadcasting false news that could disturb social peace; and the trafficking of children, according to Al-Masry El-Youm.
Judicial sources reportedly said that Saeed denied knowing about the process of the alleged child abductions, and that she simply presents the show and discusses what the editor prepares for her.
Saeed not only denies the allegations, but says her program has worked on “aiding the children of Egypt” and would never take part in a kidnapping.
Saeed was previously suspended in 2016 when she hosted a sexual harassment victim on air and allegedly blamed her “inappropriate clothing” as reason for the assault.