Shawkan

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Mahmoud Abou Zeid took pictures in Tahir Square in Cairo during the Egyptian protests.

Mahmoud Abou Zeid (Arabic محمود أبو زيد) or Shawkan (Arabic شوكان) is an Egyptian photojournalist. His photographs were published in many countries.[1] He has been in prison without a trial since 2013, after he took photographs of a protest in Egypt.

Work[change | change source]

Many Egyptian news organizations used Shawkan's photos. Shawkan's photos were in many international newspapers and magazines, including Time magazine, The Sun, Bild (a German newspaper) and Die Zeit. In 2010, Shawkan went to work for Demotix, a photo agency in London. During the Arab Spring, Shawkan took photos of the Tahir Square protests in Cairo.[2]

In 2013, Shawkan took photos of protests against the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. Police arrested him. [3] Two other photographers were arrested at the same time: Louis Jammes, a French photographer and Mike Giglio, a US reporter. Jammes and Giglio are free but Shawkan is still in prison.[2]

In March 2015, Shawkan wrote a letter about his torture in prison. Shawkan's trial was scheduled for April 23, 2016.[4] Shawkan went to court, but the court did not free him.[5] The trial was changed to May 5.[6]

Art exhibits[change | change source]

In September 2016, Shawkan's photos were exhibited in New York at Bronx Documentary Center.[7][8] His work was also shown at Photoville in New York.[9]

The Shawkan Photo Awards[change | change source]

In 2015 a photojournalism prize, The Shawkan Photo Awards, was named for Shawkan. The first winner was Islam Osama, who took a photo of the death of activist Shaimaa Sabbagh.[10][11][12]

Campaign for freedom[change | change source]

Shawkan was arrested on August 14, 2013 during protests against the government. More than 1000 people were killed and many protesters were arrested. Two other journalists were arrested at the same time, one from France and one from the United States. The foreign journalists were freed quickly, but Shawkan was charged with weapons possession, illegal assembly, murder and attempted murder. One of the other journalists, Mike Giglio, said Shawkan only had a camera.[13]

Many organizations want freedom for Shawkan. The Committee to Protect Journalists made a statement.[14][15] Amnesty International said he should be free.[16] Orla Guerin from the BBC, Patrick Kingsley from the Guardian, and Peter Greste from Al-Jazeera, who was also in prison in Egypt, wrote to the Egyptian president.[10]

Awards[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Egyptian photojournalist at risk of death penalty".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Roy Greenslade. "The photojournalist held in an Egyptian jail for 10 months without charge". the Guardian.
  3. Robert Trafford (28 October 2015). "Shawkan: top Egyptian news photographer in prison for over 800 days without trial". The Independent.
  4. "#FreeShawkan: After 900 Days in Jail, Egyptian Photographer Finally Faces Trial · Global Voices". Global Voices.
  5. "Court denies Shawkan's release".
  6. "After nearly 1000 days in prison, hearing adjourned for photojournalist Shawkan". Mada Masr.
  7. Lampe, Kurth. "The United States Showcases Egyptian Talent While Al Sisi Keeps Him Behind Bars".
  8. "EXHIBITIONS".
  9. "Free Shawkan - Photoville". 13 August 2016.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Prize celebrates top Egyptian photojournalism of 2015". Middle East Eye.
  11. Zeinobia. "Egyptian Chronicles".
  12. "Shawkan Photo Awards competition concluded first round". 24 January 2016.
  13. Goldman, Russell; Youssef, Nour (23 November 2016). "Jailed by Egypt, Honored for His Photojournalism" – via NYTimes.com.
  14. "Shawkan's trial 'one outrage after the other': CPJ". 6 February 2016.
  15. "Egyptian journalist Shawkan on his 600 days in prison".
  16. "Egypt".

Other websites[change | change source]