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Amnesty condemns 800-day detention of Egyptian photojournalist Shawkan, demands release

Amnesty International said Egypt's continued detention of photojournalist Shawkan "exposes the rank hypocrisy behind [the authorities'] claim to uphold press freedom"

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Dec 2015
Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, AKA Shawkan (Photo: Freedom for Shawkan Facebook page)
Views: 2341
Views: 2341

The continued detention of photojournalist Mahmoud “Shawkan” Abu Zeid “exposes the rank hypocrisy” behind Egypt's claim to uphold press freedom, Amnesty International said in a Thursday statement.

The UK-based rights group has collected over 90,000 signatures worldwide in a petition supporting their call for the immediate release of Shawkan, who has been detained for over 849 days.

Amnesty describes Shawkan as a "prisoner of conscience," and say he has been denied essential medical treatment for Hepatitis C.

The 28-year-old photojournalist was arrested in August 2013 while covering the violent dispersal of Mohamed Morsi supporters at the Rabaa sit-in in Cairo.

Prosecutors have repeatedly renewed the pre-trial detention of Shawkan and others detained in the same case since their arrest, with no trial. However, a trial has been scheduled to start on 12 December.

Earlier in December, Amnesty released a letter from Shawkan, written in jail, thanking his supporters for standing by him and adding: “keep shouting, journalism is not a crime.”

In a previous letter, Shawkan wrote that he was “neither a supporter nor an opponent of anyone. I don't care about anything except my professional work as a photojournalist.”

Last December, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) ranked Egypt as among the worst ten jailers of journalists in the year 2014.

The Egyptian government has repeatedly denied it imprisons journalists or reporters for their work, arguing that all those jailed have been charged with or convicted of crimes.

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12-12-2015 03:09am
“exposing the rank hypocrisy”
Hypocrisy in Egypt starts at the very top of the ranks; whoever said "no Egyptian journalist is jailed for doing his job" was the hypocrite in chief. Whoever said on CNN in NY "I am not exaggerating; Egypt enjoys unprecedented freedom of speech" must've been smoking a fat one loaded with hypocrisy!
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11-12-2015 03:04pm
Longer than police murderers
Only in the Army Republic of Egypt a journalist is given a longer sentence (with no charge mind you) for investigative reporting than police thugs torturing and killing innocent Egyptians. General Duhh would be proud of taking Egypt to the stone ages.
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