For Immediate Release
Rebecca Sharer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Launch of Mustafa Kassem Fellowship in Memory of U.S. Citizen Who Died in Egyptian Prison
WASHINGTON - Amnesty International USA is launching the Mustafa Kassem Fellowship named after the detained U.S. citizen who died in an Egyptian prison one year ago. Today would have been his 56th birthday.
Mustafa Kassem, an Egyptian-American from Long Island, New York, was detained in August 2013 while visiting family in Cairo. Like countless others in Egypt, he was beaten by security forces and jailed for being a bystander during the violent dispersal of a sit-in protesting the Egyptian government.
Kassem was tried alongside hundreds of co-defendants and charged with protesting the government in a sham mass trial. During the trial sessions, prosecutors failed to submit evidence establishing the individual responsibility of each of the 739 defendants, nor did the court insist on the need to establish such responsibility, rendering this a grossly unfair trial.
After spending more than five years in pre-trial detention, Kassem was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Shortly after his sentencing, and despite suffering from diabetes, he began a series of hunger strikes to protest his unjust imprisonment.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
We must raise $75,000 during our Winter Campaign. Can you help?
The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.
Kassem repeatedly appealed to President Trump and the U.S. government to intervene with the Egyptian government on his behalf. “I no longer recognize myself. I don't want my children to remember me this way, but I am going on a hunger strike because I am losing my will and I don't know how else to get your attention,” he wrote.
On January 14, 2020, Kassem died at 54 years old from a heart attack induced by his hunger strike.
One year after Mustafa Kassem’s tragic death in an Egyptian prison, and on his 56th birthday, Amnesty International is announcing a fellowship opportunity in his name. The Mustafa Kassem Fellow will have the opportunity to work on federal advocacy on human rights issues in the Middle East and North Africa, with a focus on Egypt and Saudi Arabia, working directly with AIUSA’s Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
Interested candidates should apply here.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.