Press Statement by A Clooney and Lorne Waldman - Mr Mohamed Fahmy
On 15 January 2015 the Foreign Minister of Canada John Baird met with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry. During a press conference after the meeting, Mr Baird reportedly stated that the discussion was constructive and that a resolution to the case of falsely imprisoned Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was expected “in short order”.
We thank the Government of Canada for its efforts in seeking Mr Fahmy’s return. We are however disappointed 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 and can return home.
Mohamed Fahmy has provided the following statement to us which he would like to address to the Canadian government:
"I understand that the ability of the Canadian government to help me is limited by the rules of diplomacy. But I do believe that Prime Minister Harper could do more to obtain my release if he were to directly intervene in our case. 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. And rest assured there will be other Canadians who will suffer like me as long as there is such injustice in this region. Canada and Egypt have friendly relations and so I hope you will continue to advocate until the diplomatic process results in my release. It is vital that Ottawa continues to engage with my lawyers Amal Clooney and Lorne Waldman at this critical stage of the negotiations so that my colleagues and I can achieve a smooth transition to freedom".
The Egyptian President has the power to pardon Mr Fahmy – who was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison on bogus charges of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and fabricating false news following an unfair trial. Under Egypt’s constitution this pardon can be issued any time. Even if he is not pardoned, Mr Fahmy can immediately be deported or released on health grounds. Although Egypt’s highest court has now ordered a retrial, this will be a lengthy process, with no guarantee of a fair outcome the second time around. It is therefore essential that Fahmy be transferred to Canada as soon as possible, in compliance with Egyptian and Canadian laws and applicable international instruments.
Counsel for Mohamed Fahmy