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Annual Prison Census 2013 - Egypt

Publisher Committee to Protect Journalists
Publication Date 18 December 2013
Cite as Committee to Protect Journalists, Annual Prison Census 2013 - Egypt, 18 December 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/52b83be410.html [accessed 5 December 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Journalists in prison as of December 1, 2013

Egypt: 5

Mahmoud Abdel Nabi, Rassd Online News
Imprisoned: July 3, 2013

Abdel Nabi, a correspondent for the critical news website Rassd, was arrested while covering clashes between supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi and supporters of the Egyptian army in the Sidi Beshr neighborhood in Alexandria, according to news reports. The clashes resulted in at least four killed and 84 injured, reports said.

A prosecutor charged Abdel Nabi and at least 14 others with possessing weapons and inciting rioting, according to the state-run paper Al-Ahram. The journalist was being held at Burg Al-Arab prison outside of Alexandria, according to Rassd.

Abdel Nabi's trial, which was delayed several times, was ongoing in late 2013.

Following Morsi's ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Mohammad Bader, Al-Jazeera
Imprisoned: July 15 or 16, 2013

Bader, cameraman for Al-Jazeera Mubashir, was arrested while covering clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi at Ramses Square, according to news reports. The reports gave conflicting dates as to Bader's arrest.

Bader was charged with attempted murder and possessing a weapon, according to news reports. The charges were the same as those levied against hundreds of protesters detained during the clashes. His lawyer, Mohamed Shaaban, told CPJ that Bader denied the charges. Al-Jazeera also denied the charges against Bader and said he had been carrying out his journalistic duty.

A trial date was set for December 2013, according to news reports. He is being held in Tora prison, which is southeast of Cairo, the reports said.

Following Morsi's ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, and its affiliates have been consistently harassed by the Egyptian authorities through a series of detentions, raids, and acts of censorship. The crackdown on Al-Jazeera has been supported by many Egyptians, who accused the station of bias, an allegation Al-Jazeera denies.

Political tensions between Qatar and Egypt increased after Morsi's ouster. Qatar had supported Morsi's government with billions of dollars in aid and investment, and has been critical of the military-backed leaders who replaced him. The interim Egyptian government returned the money to Qatar and replaced it with aid from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Abdullah al-Shami, Al-Jazeera
Imprisoned: August 14, 2013

Al-Shami, Egypt correspondent for Al-Jazeera, was arrested while covering clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo, according to news reports.

On August 17, 2013, the journalist was transferred to Abu Zaabal prison, according to news reports and his brother, Mosa'ab Elshamy.

Al-Shami was accused of possessing weapons, according to news sources. His pre-trial detention was extended at least twice in late 2013. Authorities had not lodged charges against al-Shami in late 2013, according to reports.

Following Morsi's ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, and its affiliates have been consistently harassed by the Egyptian authorities through a series of detentions, raids, and acts of censorship. The crackdown on Al-Jazeera has been supported by many Egyptians, who accused the station of bias, an allegation Al-Jazeera denies.

Political tensions between Qatar and Egypt increased after Morsi's ouster. Qatar had supported Morsi's government with billions of dollars in aid and investment, and has been critical of the military-backed leaders who replaced him. The interim Egyptian government returned the money to Qatar and replaced it with aid from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Mahmoud Abou Zeid, freelance
Imprisoned: August 14, 2013

Abou Zeid, a freelance photographer, was detained while covering clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo.

Abou Zeid has contributed to the U.K.-based citizen journalism site and photo agency Demotix and digital media company Corbis. After his detention, Demotix sent a letter to the Egyptian authorities, confirming that Abou Zeid was covering the clashes for the agency, the photographer's brother, Mohamed Abou Zeid, told CPJ.

Abou Zeid was first detained by police and held in Cairo stadium with other protesters and foreign correspondents who were released the same day. He was transferred to Abu Zaabal prison in northern Cairo after his detention was extended by 15 days, the reports said.

His brother, Mohamed, told CPJ that Egypt's general prosecutor's office extended his pre-trial detention in September 2013 on accusations of "possessing weapons." The accusations were the same as those levied against hundreds of protesters detained during the clashes.

Abou Zeid's lawyer told CPJ in November 2013 that no charges had been filed against the journalist.

Mohamed told CPJ that Abou Zeid's lawyer and the legal team at the Arab Network for Human Rights Information had appealed for his release. The appeal was denied.

Following Morsi's ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Metin Turan, Turkish Radio and Television Corporation
Imprisoned: August 17, 2013

Turan, a reporter for the state broadcaster Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, was detained while covering the security forces' crackdown on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi at Al-Fateh Mosque at Ramses Square, according to news reports

The day after his arrest, Turan was taken first to Egypt's Tora prison in southern Cairo and then held at the Wadi El Natrun prison in northern Cairo. His pre-trial detention has been extended several times by the Egyptian prosecutor's office, according to news reports.

No formal charges had been lodged against Turan in late 2013.

On September, 30, 2013, Turkey's ambassador in Cairo, Huseyin Avni Botsali, said that his government was lobbying for Turan's release, according to Anadolu news agency.

Since the ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Turkey became a target of popular protests in Egypt for characterizing the military takeover that ousted Morsi as a coup, and the Turkish government has been critical of Egypt's interim government. Turkish journalists have been subject to obstruction, detentions, and assaults. In a nationally televised speech on August 20, 2013, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused Israel of plotting Morsi's overthrow, news reports said.

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