Mahmoud Abu Zeid was released on Monday after spending nearly six years in prison for covering a violent crackdown on protesters in Egypt.

An award-winning Egyptian photojournalist who covered a violent crackdown on protesters in the country has been released from prison.

According to AFP, Mahmoud Abu Zeid was released on Monday after spending nearly six years in prison.

“He was released at 6:00 am (0400 GMT) from the Al-Haram police station (near the Giza pyramids) and is currently at home,” his attorney Taher Aboul Nasr said.

The photographer, known as Shawkan, is renowned in his field and last year received UNESCO’s World Freedom Prize. He was arrested by the Egyptian authorities who accused him of “terrorist and criminal acts” for covering a crackdown on protesters.

Shawkan was detained in August 2013 while covering clashes between security forces and supporters of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi where hundreds of demonstrators died.

In one of the largest mass trials since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, the photojournalist was jailed and put on trial along with 739 defendants, most of them charged with killing police and vandalising property.

In September, an Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 75 defendants and gave Shawkan a five-year jail term. He was released on Monday after taking into account the time he had already served.

Shawkan was accused of “murder and membership of a terrorist organisation”, which if convicted can carry the death penalty. At the time of his arrest, international rights groups rallied around and demanded his release.

Amnesty International became one of the more vocal supporters, claiming that he had been convicted “simply for doing his job as a photojournalist and documenting the police brutality that took place that day”.

Another 214 people joined Shawkan in being released released from prison on Monday.


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