CAIRO – A Canadian journalist who fought terror-related charges in Egypt for nearly two years has finally begun his journey home.
Mohamed Fahmy tweeted a photo on Tuesday of himself with Canada’s ambassador to Egypt, Troy Lulashnyk, writing: “Canadian Ambassador Troy kindly escorted me to the gate at Cairo airport. A glorious end to our battle for freedom!”
Canadian Ambassador Troy kindly escorted me to the gate at Cairo airport A glorious end to our battle for freedom! pic.twitter.com/3SPS6rPWoZ
— Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (@MFFahmy11) October 6, 2015
Fahmy and two colleagues were arrested in Cairo in December 2013 while working for satellite news broadcaster Al Jazeera English and faced widely denounced charges.
A lengthy legal battle involving two trials and more than a year in prison for Fahmy finally came to an end when he was abruptly pardoned by Egypt’s president just over a week ago.
On Monday, Fahmy was told his name was removed from a no-fly list, clearing the way for his departure from Cairo.
Fahmy’s first stop is London, where he plans to meet with his high-profile lawyer, Amal Clooney, and take part in a few speaking engagements.
He is then expected to fly to Toronto, where he’s said he plans to urge political party leaders to make sure Canada does everything possible to help citizens detained abroad.
Fahmy has also been invited to meet with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau ahead of the federal election on Oct. 19 and has said he’s eager to thank both politicians for their support during his ordeal.
The Conservative government said it was pleased that Fahmy was on his way home.
“Canada has worked tirelessly, at the highest levels, on Mr. Fahmy’s behalf. We are grateful that his long ordeal is over,” said Lynne Yelich, minister of state for foreign affairs.
“We look forward to Mr. Fahmy’s return and his reunion with family and friends. We wish him well as he embarks on a new chapter in his life.”
Fahmy moved to Canada with his family in 1991, living in Montreal and Vancouver for years before eventually moving abroad for work, which included covering stories for the New York Times and CNN before his job at Al Jazeera.
After his return to Canada, Fahmy plans to take up a position as an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of journalism in Vancouver. He is also writing a book about his experiences.