Target: Mahfouz Saber, Minister of Justice
Goal: Release Egyptian photojournalist held in prison for over a year for reporting on political protests
Mahmoud Abu Zied, a photojournalist whose work has appeared in a number of international publications, has been held in Egypt for over a year as a result of his work. He requires medical care and has been denied a number of rights while in prison.The Egyptian government refuses to grant Zied freedoms of the press as well as his basic human rights and necessities.
Zied was taking photographs at a pro-Morsi sit-in protest in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square when he was caught up in violent mass arrests. He was bounced from facility to facility, questioned without a lawyer present, and eventually dumped in Tora Prison. He remains there as authorities continue to investigate his case. It has been over a year since his arrest, and his time in jail keeps getting extended.
The photojournalist could face a number of baseless charges, including membership in a banned group, possessing firearms, and murder. The real reason for his arrest, though, was his political journalism work. As a prisoner of conscience, he should be released immediately. His situation is especially dire as he is anemic and in need of medical attention. He has also been beaten during his time in custody and could be at risk of further ill-treatment.
Stand up for justice and freedom of the press. Sign this petition to free Mahmoud Abu Zied.
Dear Minister Saber,
Peaceful freedom of the press is a universal human right and is not grounds for arrest or imprisonment. However, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, also known as “Shawkan,” has been imprisoned for over a year as a result of his work. He is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately.
Arrested at the protests in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square, Zied was beaten, shuffled from police station to police station, interrogated without a lawyer present, and eventually dumped in Tora Prison, where he remains over a year later. He could face a number of baseless charges, such as membership in a banned group, possessing firearms, and murder. He is being held in jail while authorities investigate his case.
Zied suffers from anemia and is in need of medical attention. He has also done nothing wrong. He is being held, in violation of numerous international human rights agreements, simply as a result of his political journalistic work. He must be released immediately and any charges brought against him should be dropped.
Egypt still has a chance to do the right thing. Make a fresh start–free Mahmoud Abu Zied.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Amsg07 via Wikimedia Commons