Canadian PM demands Egypt release detained al-Jazeera journalist

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper demanded that Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi release an Egyptian-Canadian journalist jailed over charges of instigatory reporting late Tuesday.
According to Anadolu Agency, Harper appealed in a message to Sisi to release Mohamed Fahmy, head of the Cairo bureau of Al Jazeera English, who has been in detention for almost 14 months. The statement noted that it was the first time Harper has personally interfered in Fahmy’s case. Harper’s office has yet to receive a response from Egypt.
Fahmy, along with his colleagues Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, were sentenced to seven years in jail in 2014 over charges of disseminating false news and unlicensed reporting through Al Jazeera. The news agency has been accused in Egypt of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted president Mohamed Morsy.
Fahmy’s family recently launched an online campaign to set him free. His parents were unofficially informed that their son would be released on Saturday, but authorities declared on Sunday that the defendants would be retried.
Greste was deported back home at the beginning of this month, based on a presidential decree allowing the deportation of foreigners standing trial. Fahmy has, in his own regard, shown his readiness in renouncing his Egyptian citizenship so that he may be deported to Canada.
Sisi told Der Spiegel earlier this week that the journalists would never have been jailed if he had been in office at the time of their arrest.
“I would have wanted no further problems and would have asked them to leave the country,” he said. “I never wished these problems on myself. They harm Egypt’s reputation,” he added.
Edited translation from Anadolu Agency

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