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Social Issues
Mohamed Fahmy, Still In Egyptian Jail, Wins Press Freedom Award
May 1, 2014
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Mohamed Fahmy, back left, stands with other journalists accused on terror-related charges (Photo: AP Photo/Mohammed Abu Zaid)

Mohamed Fahmy is still behind bars after being charged by Egyptian authorities with endangering national security and publishing stories in service of the Muslim Brotherhood.

But today, the Egyptian-Canadian journalist was recognized as the 16th winner of the Press Freedom Award by the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom.

Fahmy, who was arrested on December 29, 2013, was informed that he'd won the award by his two brothers, who visited him last Sunday for his 40th birthday.

“The recognition not only brought joy, but it also lifted the morale of my two colleagues with whom I share a cell," he said in a hand-written message smuggled out of jail. "I strongly believe that diplomatic pressure in addition to efforts of press freedom advocates does send a clear message to those judging us in court.”

According to a release from the Canadian Committee for World Press Freedom, Fahmy added that the award would help establish that the arrested journalists were "striving for the truth" in their reporting for Al-Jazeera, and not "agents of terror."

The award carries with it a prize of $2,000, which Fahmy has requested be given to the family of Mayada Ashraf, a young Egyptian journalist who was killed in March while covering the clashes between security forces and demonstrators.

Fahmy, along with Al Jazeera colleagues Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, is being kept in Egypt's notorious Tora Prison. His trial is scheduled to resume on May 3 — the same date as UNESCO's annual World Press Freedom Day.

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