Mohamed Fahmy's family blames Stephen Harper after Egypt orders new trial

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      Canadian journalist Mohammed Fahmy's family has expressed outrage at the Canadian government after Egypt announced he'll face a new trial in Cairo on Thursday (February 12).

      In a statement sent to Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, the family claimed that it had been "let down by the Canadian government's conservative approach in the handling of the case".

      "That is also the feeling of Egyptian officials and public figures sympathizing with us who are shocked that the Canadian prime minister had not intervened yet to expedite matters," the family stated.

      They added that Australia's most senior office did "an oustanding job" in securing the release of Fahmy's Al Jazeera colleague, Peter Greste.

      Fahmy, Greste, and Egyptian Al Jazeera journalist Baher Mohamed spent more than a year in jail after being convicted of fabricating coverage to assist the banned Muslim Brotherhood.

      A new trial was ordered in January.

      Fahmy is a former Vancouver resident who has worked on stories for the New York Times and CNN in addition to Al Jazeera.

      "Amnesty [International], Human Rights Watch, CJFE, Canadian media, and Fahmy and his lawyers have all called openly and privately on prime minister [Stephen] Harper to take a stand but he has failed us immensely," the family added. "We are now doing the leg work ourselves as a family knocking [on] the doors of the prosecutor, foreign ministry and presidency."

      There were high hopes that Fahmy would be freed from an Egyptian prison after Greste was allowed to leave the country. Fahmy was a dual citizen of Egypt and Canada, and renounced his Egyptian citizenship, believing it would help get him released.

      "The authorities visited him before the appeal hearing on January 1st and made a deal with him to renounce it in return for his freedom claiming this was the only way out for him and Peter," the family said. "It was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever taken [and] that has left him demoralised."

      Fahmy is represented by human-rights lawyer Amal Clooney, wife of Hollywood actor and director George Clooney.

      Former Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird recently visited Egypt and spoke to top Egyptian officials about the Fahmy case.

      Baird suddenly stepped down from his cabinet post and announced that he's quitting Parliament on February 3.

      Comments

      2 Comments

      Jim B

      Feb 8, 2015 at 10:31pm

      Ungrateful twerps.

      0 0Rating: 0

      ex-Haney guy

      Feb 8, 2015 at 11:57pm

      Stephen Harper = chicken hawk, chickenshit and traitor.

      0 0Rating: 0