Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hails the UNESCO jury’s decision to award the prestigious Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize to Mahmoud Abu Zeid, the imprisoned Egyptian photojournalist also known as Shawkan, and calls for his immediate release.
RSF had proposed Shawkan as a candidate for the prize. The decision’s announcement is timely because Egyptian prosecutors have just requested the death penalty for this young photographer, who has been detained arbitrarily for nearly five years just for doing his job as a journalist.
The United Nations itself has described his arrest and detention as arbitrary.
“Shawkan is not a terrorist, he is a journalist and a credit to his country,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “Today we issue a solemn appeal to the Egyptian authorities to carry out his immediate and unconditional release.”