East Cairo Prosecution Office, headed by Ibrahim Saleh, ordered the imprisonment of television presenter Reham Saeed, and other crew members of her show for four days pending investigations, for allegedly inciting the kidnapping of children in the process of preparing an episode of Saeed’s show.
The editor-in-chief, cameraman, and the producer of the television programme “Sabaya Al-Khair” have also been imprisoned along with Saeed for being involved in the case.
Saeed, who hosts Sabaya Al-Khair—aired on privately-owned Al-Nahar channel—wanted to present an episode about the abduction of children, so she and her crew agreed with a mediator to convince kidnappers to abduct two children in exchange for money, claiming that they would be sold to a family in an Arab country.
The TV presenter and her team are facing charges of human trafficking, involvement in kidnapping and selling two children, as well as broadcasting false news that disturbs social peace.
Security forces arrested the crew while closing the deal. The prosecution had previously ordered the detention of the programme producer and photographer for 15 days in relation to the case.
The TV presenter’s aim was to record the incident to air it on her show and discuss cases of child abduction. However, she was accused of following unethical means to tackle the issue, amid a lack of a legal permission to act in such manner.
During the investigation, Saeed denied any connection to the agreement, and said that she was not informed about the process but only knew of the topic, adding that her job is only to present an episode after discussing it with programme’s the editor. She also stressed that she had assisted Egyptian children through her show. On the other hand, the producer of the show said that Saeed is both the presenter and editor of the show.
In late January, the family of the two children involved in the agreement reported their disappearance.
According to investigations, the producer agreed with the editor and the presenter to participate in the kidnapping to prove the existence of child abductions in Egypt.
This is not the first case where Saeed is accused of unethical acts. Her show faced suspension for over six months in 2016 when she interviewed Somaya Tarek, a young woman who was assaulted and harassed by a man in a shopping mall.
During the episode, Saeed contended that Tarek’s revealing clothes were the reason the man harassed her. The TV anchor also aired personal photos taken from Tarek’s mobile phone in order to support her allegations against the young woman.