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Stop the imprisonment of journalists – Abdullah Elshamy’s story

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If you speak out against what happens, you either get detained for endless time or you get killed

Abdullah Elshamy, then-West Africa correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic, was arrested while covering the dispersal of the Rabaa Aladaweya sit-in in Cairo, Egypt, on Aug. 14, 2013.  He was held in Cairo’s Scorpion Prison for 307 days without charges before being released on medical grounds on June 18, 2014. Prior to his release, Elshamy had held a five-month-long hunger strike in which he lost a third of his body weight.

On Sept. 4, 2014, during a visit to Vienna, Elshamy, 26, sat down with IPI Press Freedom Adviser Vanessa Garnica to share his personal story, and discuss what led to his arrest in Egypt and how international pressure played a role in his release.

The issue: Imprisonment of journalists

Over the course of Elshamy’s imprisonment, IPI repeatedly called for his release and continues to advocate for the release of all journalists who remain in prison in Egypt, including three additional Al Jazeera journalists – Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed – and at least 10 other local journalists.

Learn more about IPI’s work against the imprisonment of journalists around the globe