ECCD Statement on Speculations Regarding Mohamed Fahmy's Release
December 28 2014
The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) hopes that the recent media speculations regarding the possible deportation of Mohamed Fahmy from Egypt to Canada are true. We truly hope that Mr. Fahmy will soon be reunited with his family in Canada.
ECCD renews its call upon the Canadian Government Officials, who recently stated that they are "actively engaged in the case", to intensify their efforts to expedite Mr. Fahmy's release and return to Canada.
Commenting on recent media reports, Ehab Lotayf, the chair of ECCD Committee said: "All Canadians including Canadian officials engaged in Mr. Fahmy's case will have a reason to celebrate if he is indeed released and returned to Canada". "Such a joy, however, should not turn into a political photo op and overshadow the efforts that must continue to clear Mr. Fahmy's name, and release Khaled Al-Qazzaz" added Mr. Lotayf. Mr. Al-Qazaz is the Canadian permanent resident, the husband of a Canadian wife, and the father of Canadian children, who has been detained in Egypt without charge since the coup of July 2013.
ECCD believes that this is another opportunity for the Canadian government to review its support of the current Egyptian regime which continues to unlawfully detain and imprison thousands of Egyptians, including members of the press, under politically motivated sentences, similar to Mr. Fahmy's seven year prison sentence.
Background: In June 2014, Mr. Fahmy, an Egyptian Canadian Journalist, and two Al-Jazeera colleagues, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, were convicted on charges of falsifying news and assisting the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. Fahmy received a seven year prison sentence. ECCD and Several Human rights organizations condemned the detainment and the convictions as an unacceptable attack on media freedom in Egypt.
Canada's condemnation of Mr. Fahmy's sentence back in June 2014 paled in comparison to the strong statement of condemnation from the Australian foreign minister Julia Bishop, and other world leaders. Mr. Baird's disregard ECCD's repeated requests for a meeting to discuss this case and others, and issued no response to Amnesty International open letters sent to him in April and June of 2014.
Recent Media reports suggest that Mr. Fahmy and Mr. Greste may be soon released in accordance with a new decree by General Sisi which stated the foreign prisoners can be deported to their home country. The reports also suggest that their release is part of deal that included Qatar's about-face position regarding the coup d'etat of July 3rd 2013. Several media outlets mentioned that the speculations of Mr. Fahmy's release came on the heels of Qatar's recent decision to terminate the broadcast of Aljazeera's Egyptian channel, one of the most critical voices of General Sisi in the region.
About ECCD: Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization with chapters in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver, and Kingston, which advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt.
For more information:
Ehab Lotayef: +1 (514) 941-9792
Ehab El-Komy: +1 (613) 852-1694