Fahmy urges Canada to do more for citizens abroad
In the midst of a heated federal election campaign, a Canadian journalist who fought terror charges in Egypt for nearly two years will be returning to Canada with a clear message for all parties vying to form the next government: Ottawa needs to do more to help citizens detained abroad.
Mohamed Fahmy insists he doesn’t want to get too political, but he does want to trigger a national conversation on the issue when he arrives in Toronto in the coming days.
“I will start a constructive debate about the Canadian government’s handling of the case and how foreign policy in dealing with such emergencies could be improved to protect Canadians who could be in a similar situation like mine, or worse,” he told The Canadian Press in an interview.
Fahmy and two colleagues were arrested in Cairo in December 2013, while working for satellite news broadcaster Al Jazeera English and faced widely denounced charges.
An arduous legal battle involving two trials and a year in prison for Fahmy finally came to an end when he was abruptly pardoned by Egypt’s president just over a week ago.
While thankful for the efforts of the Canadian ambassador and consular staff in Cairo, Fahmy expressed his disappointment with what he suggested were very “mild” efforts by Ottawa to secure his release.
Mohamed Fahmy said he wants to start a “constructive debate” about how foreign policy can be improved.