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A creative new campaign mobilizes support for jailed Egyptian photographer Shawkan

Egyptian photographer Shawkan gestures from inside a soundproof glass dock, during his trial in Cairo, 9 August 2016
Egyptian photographer Shawkan gestures from inside a soundproof glass dock, during his trial in Cairo, 9 August 2016

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on rsf.org on 10 April 2018.

The international campaign, which will start at 10 a.m. Central European Time tomorrow (10 April), aims to get as many people as possible to post photos of themselves with the hashtag #MyPicForShawkan on social networks. It will be relayed, amongst others, in the 12 countries where RSF is represented.

In the photos, they are asked to pose as Shawkan did for a photo during a court appearance, miming the action of taking photo.

Many well-known people have agreed to take part in the campaign. They include the photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand and many others (see the list below).

"We have decided to launch this solidarity campaign on social networks because of the gravity of the situation," RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. "We are aware of the power of a popular movement on the Internet and we know its efficacy in shaking things up. If we succeed in mobilizing thousands of people around the world, the Egyptian government will not be able to ignore our appeal."

Shawkan was arrested on 14 August 2013 while trying to provide the Demotix photo agency with coverage of police breaking up a demonstration in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo's Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square. Egyptian prosecutors requested the death penalty for the photographer on 3 March.

Photographers and journalists participating in the campaign:
- Visa pour l'Image festival founder and director, Jean-François Leroy
- Photoreporters Patrick Baz, Pauline Beugnies, Samuel Bollendorf, William Daniels, Jérôme Delay, Mathias Depardon, Laurence Geai, Guillaume Herbaut, Bulent Kilic, Seif Kousmate, Frédéric Lafargue, Catalina Martin-Chico, Frédéric Noy, Ammar Abd Rabbo, Michel Slomka, Mélanie Wenger...
- Bayeux Calvados-Normandy award
- Members of MYOP agency and Studio Hans Lucas
- Members of photographer collectives Argos, Collectif item, Riva press
- The journalists Dimitri Beck, Loup Bureau, Auberi Edler, Claude Guibal, Etienne Huver, Caroline Laurent-Simon, Lucas Menget, Thomas Misrachi, Vincent Nguyen, Clémentine Sarlat, Fabienne Sintes, Jean Stern...

And RSF team:

RSF

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