NCCM urges Foreign Affairs Minister to seek release of Canadian journalist detained in Egypt

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – January 15, 2013) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) urges Foreign Affairs to aggressively intervene on behalf of a Canadian journalist detained in Egypt for more than 17 days in an open letter released today.

Mohamed Fahmy, Canadian-Egyptian journalist and the Cairo bureau chief for Al-Jazeera English was detained, along with his colleagues, by Egyptian authorities on December 29, 2013. He was arrested on accusations of spreading lies harmful to the state and joining a terrorist organization. Mr. Fahmy has not been charged with any crime and his detention was recently renewed for “further interrogation.”

Mr. Fahmy, a veteran journalist, who graduated from University of Calgary and previously worked for CNN, was arrested as part of what has been described as a broader attack on journalists.

In an open letter to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee wrote:

“In light of the grave breaches to Mr. Fahmy’s human rights and the troubling implications of his arrest for the safety of journalists and the freedom of the press, we strongly urge you to:

  1. Extend full consular support to Mr. Fahmy including ensuring the presence of Canadian officials at all interrogations and ensuring that Mr. Fahmy receives appropriate medical treatment and humane living conditions;
  2. Contact Egyptian government representatives to express your concern and to call upon them to abide by their international legal obligations and in particular, demand the immediate release of Mr. Fahmy;
  3. Encourage international partners to raise the case of Mr. Fahmy with Egyptian officials; and
  4. Publicly express your deep concerns about the detention and handling of Mr. Fahmy by Egyptian authorities.”

CONTACT: Ihsaan Gardee, Executive Director, 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111