By Staff Reporter
Mayada Ashraf was shot in the head by police snipers while covering live protests in Cairo on Friday.
- Egyptian military-controlled media have been trying to cover up the reality of the murder of the young female journalist, Mayada Ashraf, who was shot dead with a live bullet fired at her by a police sniper on Friday while she was covering an anti-coup protest.
- Egyptian military-run media are claiming that Mayada got shot by pro-Morsi protesters.
- Some pro-army outlets, including the news website Veto, accused Muslim Brotherhood supporters of shooting Ashraf, while some groups supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood said that thugs working for the police shot the journalist.
- All available evidence, however, point to the fact that Mayada was killed by police snipers, who also killed three other protesters in the same incident.
The following links show the truth about Mayada’s death, based on raw footage and testimony of her friends who witnessed the incident:
- The moment Mayada was shot dead Protesters are trying to save her life
- Mayada’s friend and eyewitness to the murder says she was killed by police
- A journalist who accompanied Mayada confirms she was shot dead by a police sniper
- The pro-coup Chairman of the Journalists Syndicate, Diaa Rashwan, is expelled by journalists and Mayada’s friends as he tries to deliver condolences
- Mina Nader, a Coptic Christian journalist and eyewitness to the incident, tweeted the following:“Mayada Asraf, a journalist at Dostour newspaper, was killed by a live bullet in the head. My testimony as an eyewitness is that I did not see any weapons with the Muslim Brotherhood protesters. Police was firing [live bullets] insanely.”
- Ashraf was shot in the head, according to news reports. A video by the news channel Masr Alarabia shows the journalist being carried away from the scene.
- Her most recent report from today’s clashes included a description of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group. Al-Dustour is well-known for its criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party.
Although she had been an opponent of Morsi, and a supporter of June 30 protests, her Facebook statuses show that she rejected Al-Sisi’s presidential candidacy, and the massacres committed against Morsi supporters.
In one of her latest Facebook posts, she said: “Although I am not surprised that Al-Sisi is running for president, I don’t know why I felt disheartened after his presidency bid announcement.”
Following the August 14 massacre against Morsi supporters in Rabaa Al-Adaweya, Mayada wrote: “Morsi is not worth dying for, but also Al-Sisi is not worth renouncing our humanity for.” In a Facebook conversation published by rights activist Haitham Abu Khalil, Mayada tells her friend that she “hates Al-Sisi since the Rabaa massacre”.
The clashes stemmed from nationwide demonstrations by Muslim Brotherhood members who were protesting Army Chief Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi’s announcement on Wednesday that he would resign from the army and run for president later this year.
An editor at Al-Dustour, AbdelKader Ismael, told Al-Hayat TV that ambulances were initially unable to reach her body amid the clashes. He said there was no information yet about who had shot her.
“We call on the Egyptian government to open an independent and impartial investigation into Mayada Ashraf’s killing,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “A journalist’s death should not be used to settle political scores–the focus should be on journalists’ right to safely cover events in Egypt.”
At least four other journalists have been killed covering clashes since the army ousted former President Mohamed Morsi, according to CPJ research.
In an unrelated development, Mohamed Aamer, a reporter for the Muslim Brotherhood’s daily Freedom and Justice newspaper, was released from prison on March 21, according to news reports. Firas al-Shamsan, a Yemeni freelance journalist, was released from jail on March 4, according to news reports.
The trial for three Al-Jazeera journalists, who are accused of terrorism, has adjourned until March 31. They have been charged with “distorting the country abroad” and “fabricating news to aid the Muslim Brotherhood.” Egyptian authorities often use legal harassment and arbitrary detention as a means to silence critical journalists, according to CPJ research
-CPJ & altahrir