Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is seeking a sit-down with Egypt’s president and foreign minister to press for the release of Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy. When Australian reporter Peter Greste was deported on Feb. 1, an official had said Fahmy’s release would be imminent but that has yet to happen.
“Since Mr. Greste’s release, Mr. Fahmy’s Egyptian counsel has been informed by Egyptian government officials that his release was to follow, and that it was imminent,” Clooney wrote in the letter. “This was to be expected, given that Mr. Fahmy has been the victim of the same injustice as Mr. Greste.”
Fahmy, who was sentenced to seven years in prison, agreed to drop his Egyptian nationality and only keep his Canadian citizenship in order to make deportation easier, notes Daily News Egypt.
Any hope of a quick release though were dashed Sunday with news that a retrial for Fahmy and another Al Jazeera journalist jailed in Egypt will begin on Thursday. “The trial date on Feb. 12 represents our worst nightmare, to have to go through another circus of a retrial,” the Fahmy family said in a statement, according to the CBC.
Fahmy’s family harshly criticized the Canadian government saying it had “been let down” by its “conservative approach in handling the case.” The family says that feeling is shared by Egyptians “who are shocked that the Canadian prime minister had not intervened yet to expedite matters.”