Reporters Without Borders urges the authorities to end the impunity for those responsible for the massacre in Cairo’s Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square exactly one year ago, on 14 August 2013. The victims included three journalists who were killed by the security forces while covering a protest by deposed President Mohamed Morsi’s supporters.
Between 700 and 1,000 people are estimated to have been were killed when soldiers and police used force to evict the demonstrators from the square six weeks after ousting Morsi on 3 July 2013. The three journalists were killed in the course of doing their job to inform the public.
In the past year, no investigation has been conducted into either the massacre or the deaths of the three journalists. No one has been arrested or sanctioned for these crimes. The same goes for the seven other journalists killed since the start of the Egyptian uprising in January 2011.
The three journalists killed on 14 August were Ahmed Abdel Gawad, an Egyptian reporter for the daily Al-Akhbar, who was fatally shot in the small of the back; Mosab Al-Shami, an Egyptian photographer with Rassd News Network (an alternative media created during the 2011 revolution), shot in the chest by a sniper; and Mick Dean, a British cameraman with Sky News, also killed by sniper fire.
At least six other media workers sustained gunshot injuries the same day, including Al-Jazeera cameraman Mohamed Al-Zaki, shot in the arm, and an Associated Press photographer shot in the back of the neck.
“We urge the Egyptian authorities to conduct independent and impartial investigations into the deaths of the three journalists killed on 14 August and the seven other cases of journalists killed since January 2011,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. Freedom of information is in the process of disappearing in Egypt, as the imposition of sentences ranging from seven to ten years in prison on three Al-Jazeera journalists on 23 June has shown. Impunity must cease to be the foundation on which power is based in Egypt.”
Although all the murders of journalists since January 2011 continue to go uninvestigated and unpunished, 12 people were sentenced to death on 18 June for the murder of a police general. Double standards are obviously in effect. Mick Dean’s wife condemned this injustice in a moving open letter published on 10 August.
On the day of the Rabaa Al-Adawiya massacre, the deadliest episode in modern Egyptian history, two journalists were arrested. One, Al-Jazeera reporter Abdallah Al-Shami, was released on 16 June after being held for 10 months. The other, photographer Mahmoud Abu Zeid is still being held.