Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel arrived on the Egyptian Presidential Airplane on Monday with President Mohamed Morsy, after two weeks of detention in Sudan for covering protests in Khartoum.
She told reporters that after being arrested she was asked if she was working for anyone in Sudan. She had been sent to do a story on the austerity measures for Al-Watan newspaper but found the story evolved. She was asked about the people she met and the things she had seen in her work. She was arrested at a protest, authorities initially planned to deport her but when they discovered she had a camera they told her that her stay “would be a little longer.”
Her mother and father spoke to the press yesterday saying they had spoken to their daughter at 1 am that morning from Addis Ababa and the she said she was well and was surprised to know that media has been following her well- being and had been pressuring the government for her safe return .
Adel returned on the presidential plane with President Morsy from Ethiopia.
Her sister Fathima said that the people who brought her sister back were the people that put pressure on the government for the duration of her absence. Her mother said, “The most important thing is that my girl comes back.” Her father added, “This has been the hardest 14 days of my life.” Adel’s mother described how prior to traveling to Sudan Shaimaa had been injured traveling from Turkey to Syria, but was ready to go to Sudan for the protests as soon as she was up for it. She has previously traveled as a student to Gaza as well.
When Shaimaa told her family she was going to Sudan her father said he told her, “Go. Go. It is your other country.” When asked if they would allow their daughter to travel again for reporting her mother said, “She loves her work, no one can stop her from doing her job.”
Her father said, “We are not going to prevent her from doing anything she wants to do.” Adel’s family was relieved. Her mother said, “I am very, very, very happy that she is coming back in one piece.” Her father added, “I heard her voice, that’s enough for me.”
Sudan continues to experience intense protests against austerity measures imposed by President Omar Al-Bashir as well as his 23-year rule. Adel is the second Egyptian reporter detained by Sudanese authorities in recent weeks.
In June Samia El-Wardany, a reporter for Bloomberg news was detained and subsequently deported to Egypt, she described a harrowing experience with authorities.