NCCM calls verdict against Canadian journalist in Egypt “a travesty of justice”

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – August 29, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, joins fellow civil rights organizations including Amnesty International Canada, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, in expressing its deep concern and disappointment with the recent guilty verdict and sentence handed down against Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

“Today’s verdict against Mohamed Fahmy is a travesty of justice and represents a serious blow to freedom of expression and the press,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“We urge the federal government to use all legal and diplomatic means at their disposal to pressure Egyptian authorities to agree to Mr. Fahmy’s request to be deported – as they did with Mr. Fahmy’s colleague, Peter Greste, at the behest of the Australian government. Prime Minister Stephen Harper can and must do more,” adds Gardee.

As a former bureau chief for Al Jazeera English, Mr. Fahmy and his colleagues were originally detained by Egyptian authorities on December 29, 2013. The arrest was described as a broader and ongoing attack on journalists.

In January 2014, the NCCM sent an open letter to former Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, which called on the government to do more to secure Mr. Fahmy’s immediate and unconditional release and repatriation to Canada. In addition, efforts to ensure that the case remains in the public eye include highlighting the disconnect between the government’s public pronouncements on this case with its actual efforts to secure Mr. Fahmy’s release, along with other Canadians unjustly detained abroad.

The NCCM is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit grassroots advocacy organization. It is a leading voice for Muslim civic engagement and the promotion of human rights.

Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111