NCCM welcomes release of Canadian journalist held in Egypt

-For Immediate Release-

(Ottawa – September 23, 2015) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, welcomes news of today’s decision by the President of Egypt to pardon and release Canadian citizen and journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

Fahmy, a veteran journalist and former Cairo bureau chief for Al-Jazeera English, was originally detained, along with his colleagues, by Egyptian authorities on December 29, 2013. As a graduate from University of Calgary who previously worked for CNN, Fahmy was arrested as part of what has been described as a broader attack on journalists.

“The NCCM is very pleased by today’s news of the pardon granted to Mr. Fahmy and we call on Canadian officials to help ensure that he and his family are returned safely and swiftly to Canada,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.

“This decision comes after a long and persistent campaign undertaken by concerned Canadians including demonstrations, open letters signed by respected organizations and public figures, and petitions to name a few.

“His legal team and all of their colleagues should be commended for vigorously standing up and fighting for Mr. Fahmy’s human rights, and by extension, the rights of all Canadians unfairly detained abroad to be treated according to principles of fundamental justice.

“Finally, while news of Mr. Fahmy’s release is most welcome, we remain deeply concerned by the ongoing and unjust detention and treatment of other Canadians including Huseyin Celil who has been imprisoned in China since 2006 and Bashir Makhtal who has been in prison in Ethiopia since 2007. The trials and verdicts against these Canadians have been widely criticized as unjust and deeply flawed,” says Gardee.

CONTACT: Amira Elghawaby, Communications Director, 613-254-9704