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Jailed Al Jazeera journalist demands more effort from Canadian government

Anyone can become a victim of political turbulence in Egypt, says Fahmy

Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (C)  (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)
Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (C)

Jailed Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy called on his government to do more to secure his release, in a statement issued through his lawyers on Thursday.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry on Thursday and discussed, in part, the jailed Al Jazeera journalists. Baird’s meeting with his Egyptian counterpart was not expected to result in an immediate resolution to the issue of the jailed journalist.

Baird himself stated: “I wasn’t naive to suggest that I would come and the situation would be resolved,” according to Canadian broadcasting agency CBC News.

Fahmy was arrested along with his two colleagues, Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste, while they were working for Al Jazeera English in December 2013. The journalists are accused of spreading false news and supporting Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The three received sentences between seven and ten years in prison each. Egypt’s Court of Cassation accepted on 1 January an appeal filed in the case of the three jailed journalists, and ordered a retrial.

In his statement, issued by his lawyers Amal Clooney and Lorne Waldman, Fahmy said: “My situation and the ongoing legal limbo that I am enduring affects all Canadians who are in the Middle East because it shows that anyone, regardless of how innocent, can become a victim of the political turbulence here.”

“Canada and Egypt have friendly relations and so I hope you will continue to advocate until the diplomatic process results in my release,” he added.

His lawyers, Clooney and Waldman, thanked the Canadian government for its efforts, but also expressed disappointment “that nothing more concrete was announced after the meeting and we hope that the Canadian government is resolved to continue the diplomatic process until Fahmy is released”.

President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved a law in November that allows him to deport foreign defendants to their home countries before a court issues a final verdict against them. The law gives the president the power to deport them when it is in “the state’s interests”.

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  • fredsook

    I guess real Canadians should stay out of the middle east! Don’t go and get yourself arrested in some third world shithole and then come crying to the Canadian government. You left Canada, you take your chances. Once released, you will no doubt go right back to Egypt to create chaos and get arrested again. Stay where you are, it is where you belong.

    • 3151jeff

      My feelings exactly!

    • Nite_Owl

      So all our journalists should stay in Canada and trust foreign governmental press releases to give them the truth? Wow!

    • eddieo

      He is a JOURNALIST – does that not mean anything to you? Have you no sense of history? Have you not seen the alarming rate at which journalists are being killed?

      WHO do you think wrote this piece?

      • fredsook

        Let the journalists in Egypt write the story. They live there and know more of what is going on. Mohamed can write about lemmings in the arctic!

  • Nite_Owl

    John Baird is Israel’s puppy and will do Netanyahu’s bidding as will his other Canadian lapdog PM Harper. The Canadian people will be kicking these Conservative clowns to the curb in our upcoming election. Much like Israel, ever since they were given power they’ve not only called all who criticize them enemies but done their best to turn friends into enemies, even alienating the the normally right wing military by treating our veterans like dirt. Unfortunately an attitude shared by too many countries. They love them when they send them over but treat them like an undeserving burden if they have the audacity to return home injured and in need of expensive help.

  • ernie

    you sound like a redneck fredsook

  • Mr john

    He traveled there knowing the risk. So are government should just tell you that you are an idiot. You broke the law now pay for it like a man, sorry forgot you belong in Egypt so you can not act like a man.

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