The Public, a Buffalo, New York, alternative newspaper and web site with a circulation of 35,000, published my article about José Coyote Pérez, an immigrant laborer and labor activist in upstate New York, who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), earlier today.
August 14, 2013, was 994 days ago. On that date, Mahmoud Abu Zeid was arrested in Egypt. He is a photojournalist who was arrested while being a photographer. Four times since December of last year, his first court hearing has been postponed; the next attempt at a hearing will come on May 10.
Under Egyptian law, there is a two-year cap on pre-trial detention; 994 days is longer than two years.
You may very well have seen some of his work in recent years, as his photographs have appeared in Time magazine, in periodicals throughout Europe, and they have been distributed by Corbis, a major syndicate. (One photo is reprinted below the fold.) Mahmoud, who publishes under the name “Shawkan,” photographed everyday life in Egypt as well as breaking news stories like the protests in Tahrir Square and the trial of former president Hosni Mubarak.
Today is World Press Freedom Day, an annual commemoration established by the United Nations in December 1993. It celebrates the vital importance of a free press around the world, of the importance of the freedom of expression. What I write here is not important, but the fact that I can hit the “Publish” button in a few moments and send this into the world, that fact is.