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Missing Al-Jazeera journalist: 'I hold the Egyptian regime responsible'

If El-Shamy does not receive medical attention soon, he is likely die. His hunger strike has surpassed all records.
By Aileen Graef   |   May 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM   |   Comments

CAIRO, May 15 (UPI) -- A video of missing Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy, who has been on a hunger strike, has surfaced showing the emaciated reporter condemning the Egyptian government from an undisclosed location.

El-Shamy has been missing since he was transferred from Tora prison after a doctor said he was close to dying from starvation. His location has not been revealed but his family said on Twitter that he has been transferred to the maximum security prison Scorpion. He has been imprisoned for nine months with no criminal charges.

"My name is Abdullah El-Shamy, I'm Al-Jazeera Arabic's news reporter. I have been detained since 14th August in Cairo while I was covering the dispersal of Rabaa al Adawiya sit-in. I was doing my job as a reporter and despite the authorities knowing this, I have been detained for 266 days without any charge and without committing any crime.

I record this video after I have reached 106 days of my hunger strike to hold the Egyptian government, the Egyptian judiciary and the General Prosecutor responsible. If anything ever happens to me, I have requested several medical checkups from independent sources and yet this help has not been provided. I haven't also had any medical care here inside the prison and this is a record for the history and for the sake of documenting my state and thus if anything happens to me, whatever it is, either my health fails totally, or anything happens to my safety, I hold the Egyptian regime responsible for that."

Human Rights Watch is calling for his immediate release, as well as the release of other journalists in Egyptian custody. Al-Jazeera has expressed their concern for El-Shamy ,Peter Greste, Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and local producer Baher Mohamed who are currently on trial. The media campaign #FreeAJstaff has gone viral on Twitter and other social media platforms.

"Abdullah needs urgent independent medical attention. The authorities should grant this and reveal where they are holding him. The best thing of all they can do is release him and end this 9-month ordeal. Abdullah is a journalist and journalism is not a crime," said a spokesman from Al-Jazeera.

Follow @AileenGraef and @UPI on Twitter.
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