Shawkan will soon be free
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is relieved by the 5-year jail sentence passed today on Mahmoud Abdel Shakour Abou Zeid, the young Egyptian photojournalist also known as Shawkan, as he has already spent five years in preventive detention and, having effectively served his sentence, will soon be free.
Today’s decision by a Cairo court means Shawkan’s long ordeal is over. He was finally convicted at the end of a mass trial with more than 700 fellow defendants.
“We are immensely relieved to learn that Shawkan will soon be released,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said.
“He spent five years in prison in the most appalling conditions just for doing his job as a photographer, for trying cover a massacre by the security forces in Cairo’s Rabaa Square on 14 August 2013. He is in very poor physical and psychological condition and needs to be reunited with his family without delay.”
With at least 32 professional and non-professional journalists currently detained in connection with their reporting, Egypt is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.