The Cairo Criminal Court renewed Saturday the pre-trial detention of photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid for a further 45 days.
Abou Zeid, also known as Shawkan, has been detained with 300 others for over a year without trial. He was arrested while covering the security forces’ dispersal of the Rabaa Al-Adaweya and Al-Nahda Squares sit-ins in August 2013.
“It is without logic, without a trial and lawless. Simply, an accusation on a piece of paper has jailed me without an investigation. Time passes and years are wasted between these four walls,” the photojournalist wrote in a letter from prison.
“My quarrel with my country is simply that I am an Egyptian; an Egyptian journalist. If there is no good ahead of me other than renouncing my Egyptian citizenship as well, then I will do it,” Shawkan said.
Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy had renounced his Egyptian nationality after over a year in prison on charges of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood against Egypt.
Similarly, US citizen Mohamed Soltan had to surrender his Egyptian nationality after receiving a 25-year imprisonment sentence last month, on accusations of forming an “operations room” to defy the government.
“I don’t know why I have been caught up in a political fight. I do not belong to any organisation or camp. I don’t know the reason for keeping me in jail this long. I do not belong to anything except my profession as a photojournalist; just a photojournalist,” Shawkan wrote in his letter.