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Egyptian Photojournalist Shawkan Honored With Second Award From Behind Bars

Egyptian Photojournalist Shawkan Honored With Second Award From Behind Bars

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The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) announced on Monday imprisoned Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid “Shawkan” as one of the recipients of its 2016 International Press Freedom Awards.

The Committee also honored journalists from India, Turkey and El Salvador, all of whom “have faced threats, legal action, and imprisonment.” The winners are set to be honored at CPJ’s annual award and benefit dinner in New York City on November 22.

CPJ’s award is the second that the imprisoned photojournalist has received from behind bars, with the first being the 2016 John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, which Shawkan received last month.

Shawkan was arrested while covering security forces’ violent dispersal of a protest held by supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on August 24, 2013.

The 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.

Despite the maximum period of pre-trial detention being two years, Shawkan was held in pre-trial detention until December 2015, when he stood in front of a court for the first time. During his detention, he has contracted Hepatitis C and has reportedly been denied access to medical attention for anaemia and depression.

His upcoming trial session is scheduled to take place on August 9.

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