World

In letter, Egyptian photojournalist describes his over 600 days of detention as 'unbearable'

  • In this May 2011 file photo, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as "Shawkan," poses for a photograph during his graduation photo exhibit at Akhbar el Youm Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group. (AP Photo/Randa Shaath, File)

    In this May 2011 file photo, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as "Shawkan," poses for a photograph during his graduation photo exhibit at Akhbar el Youm Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group. (AP Photo/Randa Shaath, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this May 2011 file photo, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as "Shawkan," poses for a photograph during his graduation photo exhibit at Akhbar el Youm Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group. (AP Photo/Randa Shaath, File)

    In this May 2011 file photo, photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as "Shawkan," poses for a photograph during his graduation photo exhibit at Akhbar el Youm Academy in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group. (AP Photo/Randa Shaath, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE  - In this Saturday, July 12, 2014 file photo, Egyptian journalists tape their mouths and hold signs during a protest demanding the release from prison detention of Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as Shawkan, 27, in front of the Syndicate of Journalists building in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group.  (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

    FILE - In this Saturday, July 12, 2014 file photo, Egyptian journalists tape their mouths and hold signs during a protest demanding the release from prison detention of Mahmoud Abu Zied, known as Shawkan, 27, in front of the Syndicate of Journalists building in Cairo, Egypt. Shawkan was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government’s violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Shawkan who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a “cemetery” and his indefinite detention as “psychologically unbearable” in a letter published by a rights group. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)  (The Associated Press)

An Egyptian photojournalist who has spent over 600 days locked up without any charges describes his prison as a "cemetery" and his indefinite detention as "psychologically unbearable" in a letter published by a rights group.

Mahmoud Abou-Zeid, known by his nickname Shawkan, was arrested in August 2013 while taking photographs of the government's violent dispersal of a sit-in by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Over 600 people were killed in the dispersal.

Since then, the 27-year-old photojournalist has been held without charges, interrogated on suspicion of taking part in a violent Islamist protest. Abou-Zeid calls the accusations "fabricated," and said he was taking pictures of what felt like "a war."

Abou-Zeid's brother, Mohammed, said Tuesday the letter was sent last weekend. Amnesty International later published it.