Photojournalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada was reportedly stabbed by an unknown assailant with a penknife in downtown Cairo Friday night, and his brother Mohamed Ziada described the incident as an “assassination attempt”.
Ziada was previously detained over charges of assaulting police officers, illegal protests, violence, and setting fire to the Faculty of Commerce building in December 2013 before being acquitted and released in May 2015.
Ahmed underwent an operation due of the stabbing and is currently hospitalised at Boulaq El-Dakrour Hospital in Giza. Mohamed confirmed that Ahmed’s medical situation has improved.
Mohamed described the incident in a note on his Facebook page: “Ahmed was walking on the pedestrian bridge of Cairo University metro station when a man pointed his pistol towards him and Ahmed managed to divert it. At the same time, another thug started stabbing Ahmed with a penknife from behind.”
Mohamed said his brother lost consciousness and many people who witnessed the incident believed he died. Ahmed was stabbed four times; in his back, his lungs near his heart, his hand, and his leg.
“This is an assassination attempt; no one tried to rob his cell phone or his money,” Mohamed said. Ahmed’s possessions remained with him after the attack.
“What happened to Ahmed was because of the articles he writes, and this explains who is behind the attack,” Moahmed said.
Ahmed writes for Masr Al-Arabia and Al-Araby websites, and is known for his critical views of the regime. He had published articles about torture in prison and the status of detainees. He also has openly expressed his critical views regarding the country’s current leadership.
The released journalist, who used to work for Yaqeen news network, was temporarily detained for almost 500 days in the “Al-Azhar University events” case. During his detention, Ahmed staged two hunger strikes in protest of his detention without charge. His longest hunger strike lasted 98 days. He also protested the unjust practices and filed reports on torture and beating allegations.