September 29, 2014

Urgent Action Update: Shawkan’s Trial Adjourned To 17 January (Egypt: UA 243/14)


The trial of Egyptian photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, also known as “Shawkan”, is adjourned to 17 January. The prison doctor’s report stated that he is in good health, despite Shawkan’s family’s claim that he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C before arrest.
The last court session for the trial of Egyptian photojournalist and prisoner of conscience Mahmoud Abu Zeid, popularly known as “Shawkan”, took place on 27 December. According to one of the defence lawyers in attendance, the judge read out a report by the Tora prison doctor, which stated that Shawkan is in good health. This contradicts claims by Shawkan’s family that he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C before his arrest on 14 August 2013. One of three defence lawyers for Shawkan, Karim Abdelrady, stated on Egyptian television that the lawyers will request that he be presented to a Forensic Medicine Authority doctor to assess the state of his health. Other defendants in the case have been released from prison on health grounds based on doctors’ reports stating that they have cancer, or Hepatitis C.
The 29-year-old photojournalist is a defendant in a mass trial along with 738 others, including senior leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood movement. He has been charged with nine offences, including murder, which puts him at risk of the death penalty if convicted. So far, no evidence has been presented to establish that Mahmoud Abu Zeid is responsible for the offences with which he is charged. He was arrested while taking photographs.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Urging the Egyptian authorities to ensure that all charges against Mahmoud Abu Zeid are withdrawn, and to release him immediately and unconditionally as he is a prisoner of conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression;
  • Calling on them to protect Mahmoud Abu Zeid from torture and other ill-treatment for so long as he remains in detention;
  • Calling on them to order an independent and impartial investigation into allegations that he has been beaten and tortured in custody, and bring those responsible to justice in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.

Contact these two officials by 17 January, 2017:

Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Fax: 202 244 4319  -OR-  202 244 5131  I  Phone: 202 895 5400
Salutation: Dear Ambassador