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Egypt's imprisoned journalist Shawkan named recipient of Press Freedom Award

Shawkan, 28, is a freelance photojournalist who was arrested in August 2013 while covering the violent dispersal of the the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in in Cairo

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Jul 2016
Shawkan
Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, AKA Shawkan (Photo: Freedom for Shawkan Facebook page)
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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) named on Tuesday detained Egyptian journalist Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, widely known as Shawkan, as one of four recipients of the Press Freedom Awards, CPJ said on its website.

Shawkan, 28, is a freelance photojournalist who was arrested in August 2013 while covering the violent dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya sit-in in Cairo, where supporters of president Mohamed Morsi protested his ouster.

Since his arrest, detention periods have been routinely renewed for Shawkan without setting a clear date for the trial.

The trial was eventually set for December 2015, but no verdict has been issued yet.

Shawkan's lawyers have repeatedly called for his release on medical grounds saying he lacks essential treatment for Hepatitis C inside Tora prison, where he is held.

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 criminal offences.

In a handwritten letter in April 2015 posted on his official support group on Facebook, Shawkan wrote: "I am neither a supporter nor an opponent of anybody. I don't care about anything except my professional work as a photojournalist."

 “I don’t know what is going on,” the letter had read, “I have been left here to rot without any logic.”

Other recipients of the award are Malini Subramaniam from India, Can Dündar from Turkey, and Óscar Martínez from El Salvador.

 

 

 

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