Amal Clooney to head to Egypt to push for Mohamed Fahmy's release

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is requesting to meet with top Egyptian officials on an impending visit to the country to push for the release of jailed Canadian Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

Canadian journalist still in jail awaiting deportation to Canada

This composite shows human rights lawyer, Amal Clooney, (left) and imprisoned Canadian-Egyptian journalist, Mohamed Fahmy. Clooney is reportedly heading to Egypt to meet with top officials to push for Fahmy's release. (Louisa Gouliamaki, Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images)

Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney is requesting to meet with top Egyptian officials on an impending visit to the country to push for the release of jailed Canadian Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy.

Clooney, along with Canadian lawyer Lorne Waldman, represents Fahmy and is set to travel to the country "very soon," according to Fahmy'sfiancée.

"Yes this is to confirm that Ms. Amal [Clooney] is coming to Egypt very soon, and has requested to meet with President [Abdel Fatah el-Sisi] and Foreign Affairs Minister [Sameh Shoukry] to discuss Mohamed's release," MarwaOmara said in an email to CBC News.

Fahmy, who formerly held dual Canadian-Egyptian citizenship, is still in jail awaiting release and deportation to Canada. The Globe and Mail reports Clooney is inquiring why Fahmy's "imminent" release has still not happened, according to a letter she wrote addressed to President Sisi. 

Fahmy and two other Al Jazeera journalists were arrested in Egypt in 2013 over their coverage of the violent crackdown on Islamist protests following the military overthrow of former president Mohammed Morsi. Egyptian authorities accused them of providing a platform for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, now declared a terrorist organization, but officials never provided any concrete evidence.

He and the others, Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian Baher Mohammed, were sentenced last June to seven to 10 years in prison on charges including spreading lies to help a terrorist organization. Last month, a court ordered a retrial.

On Sunday, Greste was released from prison and deported after a presidential approval.

A new law passed in Egypt last November allows for foreign convicts or suspects to be transferred to their countries to serve their sentence or to be tried. 

Clooney and Waldman had requested a meeting with former Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in January to discuss the details of Fahmy's potential deportation back to Canada. However, they were denied the meeting. 

Instead, a spokesman for Baird said the minister will raise the issue with the "highest levels of the Egyptian government."


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