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Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan decries 600 days in prison without trial

Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while covering the police dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya protest camp

Ahram Online , Tuesday 7 Apr 2015
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An Egyptian photojournalist who has been in prison without trial for over 600 days has described his arrest as “illogical,” in a letter from his jail cell.

In a handwritten note, 27-year-old Mohamed Abou-Zeid, widely known as Shawkan, wondered if there was a legal explanation for his stay in detention.

“I am neither a supporter nor an opponent of anybody. I don't care about anything except my professional work as a photojournalist,” Shawkan said in the letter which was published Monday on the official Facebook page campaigning for his release.

Abou-Zeid was arrested in August 2013 while covering the violent dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi protest camp in Rabaa El-Adawiya. Hundreds were killed during the dispersal of the protest camp and thousands, mainly supporters of Morsi, were arrested on charges of violence.

Prosecutors have repeatedly renewed the preventive detention of Shawkan and others in the same case for over a year and a half.

 “I don’t know what is going on,” Shawkan said. “I am left here to rot without any logic.”

On Sunday, the London-based Amnesty International published another letter, also allegedly leaked from Shawkan’s cell, and called for his immediate release.

The annual report by the Committee to Protect Journalists ranked Egypt as among the world's worst ten jailers of journalists in 2014, with at least 12 reporters in jail.

 

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