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Recently released Egyptian journalist shares his experience in prison

Abdullah Elshamy visited Vienna this month and granted IPI a few minutes to share his traumatic experience while imprisoned in an Egyptian prison for ten months



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, during a visit to Vienna, Elshamy, 26, sat down with International Press Institute (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.

Over the course of Elshami's imprisonment, IPI repeatedly called for his release. It 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 ten other local journalists.

Elshamy, originally from Egypt, says that he may still face charges from Egyptian authorities. He now lives with his wife, activist Gehad Khaled in Doha, Qatar and is an international correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic. He is also writing a book about his experience.

Filmed by Hassan Ghani

Edited by Javier Luque

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