Abdullah al-Shami

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Al-Shami, Egypt correspondent for Al-Jazeera, was arrested while covering clashes between Egyptian security forces and supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi during the dispersal of pro-Morsi sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya in Cairo, according to news reports.

On August 17, 2013, the journalist was transferred to Abu Zaabal prison, according to news reports and his brother, Mosa’ab Elshamy.

Al-Shami was accused of possessing weapons, according to news sources. His pre-trial detention was extended at least twice in late 2013. Authorities had not lodged charges against al-Shami in late 2013, according to reports.

Following Morsi’s ouster on July 3, 2013, the military-supported government detained dozens of local and international journalists. Most have been freed.

Al-Jazeera, which is based in Qatar and funded by the Qatari government, and its affiliates have been consistently harassed by the Egyptian authorities through a series of detentions, raids, and acts of censorship. The crackdown on Al-Jazeera has been supported by many Egyptians, who accused the station of bias, an allegation Al-Jazeera denies.

Political tensions between Qatar and Egypt increased after Morsi’s ouster. Qatar had supported Morsi’s government with billions of dollars in aid and investment, and has been critical of the military-backed leaders who replaced him. The interim Egyptian government returned the money to Qatar and replaced it with aid from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.