Egypt should investigate, solve journalist murders

December 10, 2013

His Excellency Hesham Barakat
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Supreme Court House
26th of July Street
Cairo, Egypt

Fax: +202 2 577 4716

Dear Counselor Barakat,

On November 26, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity, a demonstration of the deep level of global concern. The only way to break the cycle of impunity is to bring to justice the killers of journalists, something Egypt has failed to do. Egypt is ranked second on CPJ’s list of the deadliest countries for journalists in 2013.

CPJ research shows that at least nine journalists have been killed in relation to their work in Egypt since the beginning of the uprising in early 2011. Six of those were killed in 2013. No one has been held responsible in any of the cases.

On September 4, CPJ launched a calling for fair and serious investigations into the killings of journalists in Egypt. More than 1,000 individuals supported the campaign, including prominent Egyptian journalists, press freedom advocates, and civil society members. But nothing has been done to counter the level of impunity that exists in the country.

Today, as we approach the first anniversary of the murder of Egyptian reporter Al-Hosseiny Abou Deif, we again urge you to open an investigation into the killings of journalists in Egypt, which date back to the start of the uprising in 2011, and to identify and bring to justice those responsible.

We are attaching to this letter a list of the journalists killed since 2011. We hope that the Egyptian government will uphold the rule of law by thoroughly investigating these cases and ensuring the perpetrators of the crimes are brought to justice.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.


Joel Simon
Executive Director

CC List:

Adly Mahmoud Mansour
Office of the President
Al-Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt

Mohamed Tawfik
Egyptian Ambassador to the United States
3521 International Ct. NW
Washington DC 20008

Diaa Rashwan
President of the Journalists’ Syndicate
4 Abdel Khaleq Tharwat St.
Cairo, Egypt

List of journalists killed since 2011 uprising, according to CPJ research:

Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud, a reporter for the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, was shot by a sniper on January 28, 2011, while covering anti-government protests in Cairo.

Wael Mikhael, a cameraman for the Coptic television broadcaster Al-Tareeq, was shot dead on October 9, 2011, in Cairo while filming violent clashes between Coptic Christian protesters and the military in front of the headquarters of the Television and Radio Union.

Al-Hosseiny Abou Deif, a reporter for the private weekly El-Fagr, died in a local hospital on December 12, 2012, after being shot in the head seven days earlier while covering clashes in Cairo between anti-government protesters and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

Salah al-Din Hassan, a reporter with independent news website Shaab Masr (Egyptian People), was killed on June 29, 2013, by a homemade bomb that was thrown by an unidentified person while the journalist was covering a demonstration against former President Mohamed Morsi in the city of Port Said.

Ahmed Assem el-Senousy, a photographer for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice newspaper, was killed by a sniper on July 8, 2013, while covering clashes in front of the headquarters of the Republican Guard, in Cairo.

Mick Deane, a Sky News cameraman, was shot and killed on August 14, 2013, as security forces stormed a sit-in demonstration at Rabaa Al-Adawiya, Nasr City.

Ahmed Abdel Gawad, a reporter for the state-run Al-Akhbar newspaper, was shot dead on August 14, 2013, while covering a raid by Egyptian security forces on a sit-in demonstration at Rabaa Al-Adawiya, in Nasr City.

Mosaab al-Shami, a photographer for Rassd News Network, was killed on August 14, 2013, after being shot by a sniper while trying to escape gunfire from security forces dispersing a sit-in demonstration in Rabaa Al-Adawiya, Nasr City.

Tamer Abdel Raouf, director of the Beheira bureau of the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper, was killed on August 19, 2013, when soldiers opened fire on his vehicle at a checkpoint in the Nile Delta city of Damanhur.