Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney calls for harper to intervene in Al Jazeera journalist's case
Sep 4, 2015 Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney recently called on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to personally intervene in the imprisonment of Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
This was made known in an interview with CBC in Cairo, during which the attorney said she received tremendous support from Canadians living in Egypt.
“If I were a Canadian citizen, and I am watching this play out. This is the most high-profile case of a Canadian abroad being imprisoned on sham charges, it’s getting all the attention for the reasons, because it’s a dangerous precedent that is being set. It’s a journalist who’s going to prison for no reason. So, if I were a Canadian citizen, I would want to see my prime minister now showing leadership on the global stage, I would want to see him reaching out personally to President Sisi maybe we wont know the content of a call or of a meeting but I think that level of engagement should be taking place.”
Fahmy was recently sentenced to three years in prison alongside his Al Jazeera colleagues Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste.
The 41 year old with his colleagues were arrested in 2013 and charged for supporting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood; an allegation which they have vehemently denied.
Amal Clooney went on to express her worry over Fahmy’s incarceration saying:
“We are quite concerned about him being in detention at this time for a couple of reasons, Derek. One is that he has some health concerns, he has hepatitis C which requires medication and he also has a severe shoulder injury that is going to require an operation quite soon. In addition to that he is been very outspoken critic of the Muslim brotherhood and at the moment in Egypt there are many people in prison who are from that group and therefore his physical safety may be in danger depending on the conditions of his detention so these are all issues that are being dealt with the relevant ministries in Egypt by the Canadian government on his behalf at the moment.”
The Canadian government has formally applied to Egyptian authorities for the pardon and deportation of Fahmy, an action that Clooney said had already been promised.
“This is the time when it’s no longer in the hands of the courts, it’s in the hands of the executive branch. And the government has previously said we will pardon, we will deport, and so the Canadian ambassador and I are attending meetings to say you know, please follow through: now is the time to act.”