* ‘아시아엔’ 연수 외국기자가 작성한 기사의 한글요약본과 원문을 함께 게재합니다.
[아시아엔=라드와 아시라프 기자·번역 최정아 기자] 최근 이집트에서 잇따른 언론인 수감으로 ‘언론의 자유’ 논란이 계속되는 가운데, 한 기자의 부인이 ‘웨딩 드레스 시위’를 벌여 눈길을 끌고 있다.
이집트 언론인 오마르 압델 마크소우드(이하 오마르) 기자의 부인 옴니야 마그디(이하 옴니야)는 2일(현지시간) 이집트 언론인 연합과 함께 ‘웨딩드레스 시위’에 나섰다. 이들은 오마르의 석방을 요구하며 ‘정부는 언론자유를 보장해야 한다’고 밝혔다.
현지 언론 <알-스루크>(Al-Shrouk)는 “지난해 4월 방화죄를 빌미로 수감된 오마르가 체포 1주일 전 결혼식을 올려 화제가 된 바 있다”며 “법원은 지난 1월 오마르에게 종신형을 선고해 ‘언론의 자유’문제가 도마위에 올랐다”고 보도했다.?오마르는 현재 심장병을 앓고 있어 전문치료를 받아야하는 상황으로, 3일간 감옥 내 병원에서 치료를 받았으나 후속치료를 받기 힘든 상황이다.
지난 2월29일 오마르의 동료들은 “우리는 언론자유를 보호하기 위해 이곳에 나왔다”며 “오마르는 정당한 치료를 받을 권리가 있다”고 밝혔다.
현재 이집트에선 오마르 이외에도 유세프 샤반, 한니 살라 엘-딘, 헤삼 가파, 호삼 엘-사이드 등 총 4명의 언론인이 구속돼 있다.
Wife of Egyptian journalist protests his arrest in her wedding dress
On Wednesday 2nd March afternoon, Omniya Magdy, the wife of the jailed journalist Omar Abdel Maksoud donned her white wedding dress she never got to wear and joined the three-day sit-in at Egypt’s press syndicate, expressing her solidarity with jailed husband and?imprisoned colleagues’ inside jail. The young bride was welcomed by journalists and activists at?Egypt’s press syndicate.
She joined protestors demanding the cease of arresting citizens and journal, the release of fellow journalists among them Abdel Maksoud and his two brothers, and allowing visits and medical care to prisoners among other demands. Omniya was holding a picture of her imprisoned husband who was accused of a felony of burning cars in central delta area while he was in Cairo.
Amr Abdel Maksoud and his two brothers were sentenced in January 2016 by a court in Dakahliya to 25 years on criminal charges. Amr was arrested in April 2015 one week before his wedding night, along with his two brothers, and were subjected to horrible torture before the court ruled their release after they pay the 15,000 bail. The bail was paid, but the three men disappeared for 9 days, to finally turn up in Sinblaweyn as suspects of “illegal protesting” during those nine days, in Al-Shrouk report.
Omar was sentenced to life?in prison “in absentia,” despite being at the prison and not absent. Afterwards he was ruled additional two years for the illegal protesting case, before he got acquitted from the illegal protesting case in May 2015, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
Abdel Maksoud suffers from heart problems and in a dire need for constant medical care, he suffered from a heart attack and collapsed to be moved to the prison’s hospital for three days. After that, medicines were finally allowed in, after being completely banned from receiving his medications.
The sit-in that began on Monday 29th February protests the mistreatment of other imprisoned journalists as well. Two leading syndicate board members, Khaled El Balshy and Mahmoud Kamel, who?participated in the sit-in expressed their goal:
“The sit in is part of an important fight that comes to protect press freedom, and in solidarity with our colleagues who face extremely harsh conditions and are denied medication. A fast response is necessary that ensures them the right to medication and visits.”
El-Balshy and Kamel have demanded that prison authorities provide medical treatment for at least four colleagues, Youssef Shaaban, Hani Salah El-Din, Hesham Gaafar, and Hossam El-Sayed, saying their lives “were in danger,” according to Ahram Online.