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What Canada has done for Mohamed Fahmy

Canada outlines the diplomatic steps it has taken on behalf of a Canadian journalist imprisoned in Egypt


 
Adel Fahmy, brother of Mohamed Fahmy, left, Wafa Bassiouni, mother of Mohamed Fahmy, second left, and his fiance, third left, watch proceedings in a courtroom in Cairo, on Monday. (AP Photo)

Adel Fahmy, brother of Mohamed Fahmy, left, Wafa Bassiouni, mother of Mohamed Fahmy, second left, and his fiance, third left, watch proceedings in a courtroom in Cairo, on Monday. (AP Photo)

The Canadian government has received a lot of criticism for its comparatively muted response to an Egyptian court sentencing Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and two of his colleagues, all journalists with Al Jazeera, to seven years in prison on terrorism-related charges that most observers believe were politically motivated.

Fahmy’s brother Sherif told Maclean’s his family would like Ottawa to “do what other governments are doing.” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has directly petitioned Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi regarding Peter Greste, an Australian citizen and colleague of Fahmy. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today noted that Greste isn’t free, either.

According to the office of Lyne Yelich, Canada’s junior minister responsible for consular affairs, Canada has taken the following diplomatic steps:

•             January 2014: Baird raised the case with the Egyptian foreign minister.

•             March 2014: Yelich raised the case with the Egyptian foreign minister.

•             April 2014: Baird raised the case with the Egyptian foreign minister.

•             April 2014: Baird met with Mr. Fahmy’s family in Egypt.

•             May 2014: Canada’s ambassador to Egypt met with the vice-minister of foreign affairs in Cairo, while the Egyptian ambassador to Canada was summoned in Ottawa.

•             June 2014: Canada’s ambassador to Egypt met with the assistant-minister for the Americas to relay Canada’s disappointment regarding the judicial process that led to the verdict.

•             June 2014: Yelich contacted Egypt’s foreign minister to convey Canada’s disappointment regarding the judicial process that led to the verdict.

•             June 2014: Egypt’s ambassador in Ottawa was summoned by senior Canadian officials to convey Canada’s disappointment regarding the judicial process that led to the verdict. (Baird has elsewhere confirmed that this meeting involved Baird, his deputy minister and the Egyptian ambassador.)


 
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