Canadian Journalist convicted in Egypt
TORONTO – An Egyptian court has sentenced an Egyptian-Canadian journalist, acting Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy, associated with AlJazeera English to seven years in prison on charges of terrorism. According to reports he was accused of supporting Muslim Brotherhood – a party that ruled Egypt briefly under former President Mohammed Morsi but has been termed as a terrorist organization by the present government. The other two who were convicted are Australian correspondent Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, who also received an extra three years in prison on separate charges. Meanwhile, Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), has said
in a statement: “Canada is very disappointed with the verdict in the case of Mohamed Fahmy and is concerned that the judicial process that led to his verdict is inconsistent with Egypt’s democratic aspirations. A fair and transparent legal system is a critical pillar of a future stable and democratic Egypt. Canada calls on the Egyptian government to protect the rights of all individuals, including journalists, in keeping with the spirit of Egypt’s new constitution and the desire of all Egyptians to build a fully democratic country. “Senior Canadian officials, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and myself, have raised and will continue to raise Mr. Fahmy’s case with senior Egyptian authorities. We will continue to provide
consular assistance to Mr. Fahmy, including engaging local Egyptian authorities to ensure his medical needs are being met.” There has been criticism of the verdict in many countries including US, UK & Australia. Bob Rae also tweeted – Egyptian verdict on Fahmy and colleagues is
outrageous. We shall need to do everything we can to press for his release.