Photojournalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada remained in hospital after undergoing an operation following his stabbing. His brother Mohamed confirmed to Daily News Egypt his stable health condition.
“Ziada has undergone two surgeries,” Mohamed said Sunday morning. “There were a least seven cuts in his body, since doctors continued to discover new ones while operating.” Mohamed had published a Facebook post in which he described the Ziada’s wounds as critical, saying they were near the heart and in his back.
Ahmed Ziada was reportedly stabbed in different parts of the body Thursday evening as he was coming out of a metro station near Cairo University. According to Mohamed’s description of the events, several passers-by witnessed the attack but did not interfere.
“We suspect that my brother was targeted because of his writings against the regime but we do not have any evidence to make any official accusation,” Mohamed told Daily News Egypt. “The surroundings of Cairo University must be filled with security cameras. If authorities really want to know the perpetrators, they will.”
“This cannot be considered a robbery attempt,” he said. According to his account of the story, Ziada was attacked first by a man holding an automatic rifle, which he succeeded in avoiding, and then a second man who showed up and stabbed Ziada. They both escaped after Ziada fell to the floor.
Ziada formerly worked with Yaqeen network and was arrested in December 2013 while he was covering clashes between security forces and protesting students in Al-Azhar University.
Despite being the only journalist among those detained by the police on that day, Ziada’s trial took over a year, during which he stayed in prison for 496 days. Ziada was finally acquitted from all charges related to violence on 29 April.
Ziada was held in Abu Zaabal prison, from which numerous complaints and claims of torture of detainees have been made. As a detainee, Ziada was determined to write about the conditions in prison. “I could not stop writing. It was the only thing that kept me alive in jail,” Ziada previously stated in an interview with Daily News Egypt.
He was able to issue several letters out of prison, in which he described how prisoners spend their times as well as the repeated incidents of beating and torture of several students. His reports and hunger strike were the main reasons the state-affiliated National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) visited him in prison.
Following his release, Ziada worked for Masr Al-Arabiya website, where he regularly wrote about detainees’ rights, as well as articles critical of the regime.
Ziada previously told Daily News Egypt that National Security paid visited him in jail to offer him a “job” in exchange for his “loyalty”, but he refused. His brother Mohamed said “nothing will stop Ziada” from writing.