NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar and NDP Consular Affairs critic Wayne Marston issued the following statement on the sentencing of Mohamed Fahmy:
We are shocked and disappointed by today’s verdict in Egypt sentencing Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy to seven years in prison. Mr. Fahmy has already been imprisoned for six months in Egypt for doing his job as a journalist. A free press is an essential element of a successful democracy. Today’s verdict suggests that media freedom does not exist in Egypt.
The Prime Minister of Australia personally phoned Egyptian President al-Sisi on the weekend to advocate for the release of Mr. Fahmy’s colleague Peter Greste. The Government of the United Kingdom has condemned the verdict at the prime ministerial level. Leader of the Opposition Tom Mulcair wrote to the Prime Minister in April asking for similar intervention.
The Government of Canada must raise Mr. Fahmy’s case with the Egyptian authorities at the highest level. Prime Minister Harper must contact President al-Sisi directly to condemn the persecution and prosecution of journalists in Egypt, and call for the immediate release of Mr. Fahmy.