Jan 16, 2015
By Michael Kramer
Amnesty International Canada calls on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make a “clear and direct request” – for the release of an Egyptian-Canadian journalist who has spent more than a year in a Cairo jail.
The human rights group asks Harper – in an open letter – to intervene in the case of Mohamed Fahmy: by reaching out to Egypt’s president.
Yesterday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird discussed Fahmy’s case with Egypt’s Foreign Minister in Cairo and said Canada hopes for a resolution in the matter “sooner rather than later.”
That came as a disappointment to Fahmy, who said through his lawyers that he believed Harper could do more to secure his release – if he were to directly intervene.
Amnesty says it is convinced a request from Harper would “carry considerable influence” with Egyptian authorities in general – and with Egypt’s President in particular.
Fahmy was arrested – along with two colleagues – on December 29th, 2013 – while working for Al Jazeera English.
All three were convicted last year on terror-related charges.