OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, today issued the following statement in light of today’s decision by Egypt’s general prosecutor to retry Mohamed Fahmy:
“This nightmare for the family for Mohamed Fahmy continues without action from the Prime Minister. It has been over a year since Mr. Fahmy was first detained in jail and we have yet to see Stephen Harper intervene personally in this outrageous miscarriage of justice inflicted on a Canadian citizen.
“Recently, the family was given hope that Fahmy’s release was imminent by then Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird. Having just learned that this is not the case, I understand why his family and other Egyptian officials who sympathize with them are so shocked that the Prime Minister has not intervened personally. (Read the full statement from the family below)
“What’s even more shocking is that while Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, CJFE, and Canadian media, have all called on Prime Minister to take a public stand on this issue, he has done nothing. It is the Prime Minister’s foremost responsibility to protect Canadian citizens, so I ask this question to Stephen Harper: Why have you refused to do so?
“I will continue to call for the immediate release of Mohammed Fahmy. A retrial is not acceptable, nor is the Prime Minister’s failure and unwillingness to protect a Canadian citizen who has been’ so obviously, wrongly accused.”
Statement from the Fahmy family:
“Mohamed never requested that he drops his citizenship. The authorities visited him before the appeal hearing on January 1st. and made a deal with him to renounce it in return for his freedom claiming this was the only way out for him and Peter. It was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever taken that has left him demoralised.
“Now, the general prosecutor is complicating matters even though both the presidency and the prime minister have expressed their desire to let him go as soon as possible
“Yes, we are worried and we have been let down by the Canadian government’s conservative approach in the handling of the case. That is also the feeling of the Egyptian officials and public figures sympathising with us who are shocked that the Canadian prime minister had not intervened yet to expedite matters while the Australian most senior official has done an outstanding job in the release of his colleague Peter Greste. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, CJFE, Canadian media, and Fahmy and his lawyers have all called openly and privately on prime minister Harper to take a stand but he has failed us immensely. We are now doing the leg work ourselves as a family knocking the doors of the prosecutor, foreign ministry and presidency. Amal Clooney our lawyer is well respected here in the Egyptian diplomatic community and will be arriving to Cairo soon.
“She had planned to fly from LA to Toronto to meet Fahmy upon his release, but she hopes they can fly together out of Cairo toward freedom. The trial date on Feb 12th represents our worst nightmare, to have to go through another circus of a retrial.”