News

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


News
@AyaNaderM

Aya Nader is an independent journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, The National, and Al-Monitor, among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

More in News

Egypt Bans Flights from Seven African Countries Over New COVID-19 Variant

Egyptian Streets27 November 2021

Egypt’s President Visits West Aswan to Follow Up on Relief Efforts

Mona Bassel25 November 2021

Egyptian Actress Soheir El-Bably Passed Away Aged 86

Nadine Khaled22 November 2021

Registration for Egypt’s World Youth Forum 2022 Now Open

Egyptian Streets21 November 2021

Egypt’s Landmark ‘RiseUp Summit 2021’ Coming to the Pyramids

Marina Makary21 November 2021

Egypt’s ‘Avenue of Sphinxes’ to be Unveiled in ‘Spectacular’ Ceremony

Mona Abdou21 November 2021

Prince Charles and Camilla Arrive to Egypt for Middle East Tour

Egyptian Streets18 November 2021

Egyptian Sheikh Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Raping a 10-Year-Old Girl

Egyptian Streets16 November 2021