Egyptian Photojournalist Receives US Award From Behind Bars

Egyptian Photojournalist Receives US Award From Behind Bars

pablo (90)

Three years into his imprisonment, Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid “Shawkan” received the 2016 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award.

The National Press Club also granted the award to American student Tim Tai. Speaking about the winners, the club’s President Thomas Burr said that they “remind us of the courage and perseverance that undergird excellent reporting and that keep us fighting for press freedom.”

Shawkan was arrested on assignment on August 14 2013, when security forces violently dispersed a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. After being held in pre-trial detention for more than two years – despite the maximum period for pre-trial detention being two years – he stood in front of court in December.

“[Shawkan] has been accused of several crimes the Club considers to be trumped up,” Burr stated.

The Egyptian photojournalist is accused of possessing weapons, attempted murder, illegal assembly and terrorizing citizens. Among the 740 defendants in the case are Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and other prominent Muslim Brotherhood figures, in addition to several individuals who were rounded up from and around the sit-in area.
“Shawkan’s case exemplifies the draconian way Egyptian authorities have cracked down on the press,” Burr said, adding, “Egypt is one of the world’s top jailers of news professionals, and the situation there is not improving.”

The photojournalist’s trial is scheduled for August 9 after having been adjourned again on Tuesday.

In prison, Shawkan contracted Hepatitis C. Malnourishment, confinement and hunger strikes have left him anemic and he is suffering from depression, while reportedly being denied medical access.

A number of local and international organizations, including Amnesty International, have decried Shawkan’s imprisonment multiple times calling for his immediate release.

Egypt's High School Students Stage Fresh Protests Against Exams Postponement
50 Killed in Istanbul Airport Terror Attack

Subscribe to our newsletter


Aya Nader is a journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, Al-Ahram Weekly, and Brownbook among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

More in News


Egypt Court Releases Mother of Suez FGM Victim, Postpones Trial to November

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
John Kerry

US Shifts Over $100 Million of Aid Away From Egypt

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016

Egypt’s Mediation Efforts Secure Evacuations, Delivery of Humanitarian Aid, Says Foreign Ministry

Egyptian StreetsOctober 20, 2016
A worker sells subsidized food commodities at a government-run supermarket in Cairo, Egypt, Feb.14, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt to Consider Boosting Subsidies to Shield Low-Income Citizens from Hardships of Economic Reform

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
An Egyptian supporter waves a national flag during the World Cup qualifying playoff second leg soccer match, at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 (Photo: AP)

Egypt to Reopen Stadiums to Soccer Fans for World Cup Qualifier

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Egypt's military prepares ahead of new operations against militants in Sinai

43 Terrorists Killed in Egypt Military Operations

Egyptian StreetsOctober 19, 2016
Archive photo

Police Conscript Shoots Dead Police Officer in Egypt Following Quarrel

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
The Great Pyramid of Giza (Pyramid of Khufu)

Scans Uncover ‘Cavities’ in Egypt’s Great Pyramid

Egyptian StreetsOctober 18, 2016
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2016 ES Media UG. All Rights Reserved.