Photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid (Shawkan) during Rabaa sit-in dispersal trial on September 8, 2018 - Egypt Today/By Khaled Kamel
CAIRO - 8 September 2018: A Cairo Criminal Court handed down sentence of five years in prison against photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zaid (Shawkan) in the case publically known as “Rabaa sit-in Dispersal” on Saturday.
Legal experts affirmed that Shawkan will be released upon the court's verdict, since he spent the sentence in remand custody.
Shawkan, 31, is accused of a list of charges, including: launching arson attacks on public utilities, resisting authorities, possessing unlicensed weapons, blocking roads, premeditated murder and organizing an armed gathering in Rabaa Square.
During the case’s hearing session held in late October, Shawkan said that he was only doing his job as a press photographer and that he was among other photographers who were called on by the government to cover the events of the Rabaa sit-in dispersal.
Shawkan’s case may be considered one of the most complicated cases. The photojournalist has been defended by several human rights NGOs and activists, while he is being tried in the same case known as the “Dispersal of Rabaa sit-in.” The case consists of 366 defendants, including outlawed Muslim Brotherhood leaders Mohamed Badie, Mohamed el-Beltagy and Essam el-Erian, which might weaken Shawkan’s position.
However, lawyer Karim Abdel Rady assured in previous statements to Egypt Today that “there was no evidence against Shawkan to prove he was involved in any violent act, and that he was on assignment to cover the dispersal like any other journalist.”
Shawkan was on assignment for UK-led Demotix to cover the sit-in dispersal.
CAIRO - 8 September 2018: A Cairo Criminal Court sentenced former Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, 46 other Muslim Brotherhood members in the case known as "Rabaa sit-in Dispersal" to life imprisonment (25 years in jail) on Saturday.