HEADLINES

Egypt: Mohamed Fahmy Pardoned And Released From Prison

Published on Sept. 23, 2015. CBC News World

Freed journalist Mohamed Fahmy cannot wait to return to Canada to thank those whose advocacy he says helped him secure the pardon granted Wednesday by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Mohamed Fahmy hugs his wife Marwa Omara

Canadian Al Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy hugs his wife Marwa Omara after being released from Torah prison in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (AP Photo: Amr Nabi)

“I really… can’t wait to show my wife what Canada’s all about. I mean, I’ve been talking about this, about back home, for years now and what sort of life we have there and the freedom we have,” Fahmy told CBC News. “For the first time since my arrest, I feel like I am a normal free person with a load off my chest.”

In August, Fahmy lost his second trial on widely denounced terrorism charges connected to his work for Al-Jazeera’s English network. He faced a three-year sentence after already having spent more than 400 days in prison.

But Wednesday, the warden told him to pack his belongings and police inexplicably dropped Fahmy off in a Cairo suburb still wearing his prison uniform.

They literally put us in a truck and took us to this location and left us on the street with no money, no mobile phones,” he told CBC News. “We were told that [we] can now go home … It was unbelievable.”

Fahmy said he would celebrate Wednesday night with a cold beer and begin working on plans for a return to Canada.

The Eid holiday starting Thursday, however, will essentially shut Egypt down for four days, delaying Fahmy’s departure as he works to get his name removed from the travel ban list. But once that happens, Fahmy said he intends to fly to Vancouver and begin a teaching position at the University of British Columbia.

Fahmy’s brother, Adel Fahmy, said from Kuwait, that news of the pardon left his family speechless.

Egypt: Mohamed Fahmy at his trial in September 2014

Egypt: Mohamed Fahmy at his trial in September 2014. (Photo: AP)

It’s really amazing to feel that the nightmare is officially over — the nightmare we’ve endured since December 2013.”

Fahmy acknowledged the toll his imprisonment took on his family, saying the separation was painful on both sides.

“The families are outside of the prison [and] don’t know what’s happening in the cell,” he said. “So, to them, every single night is a nightmare,” he said. “For us, inside, we sort of start coping and getting through a routine to protect ourselves and to survive.”

Amal Clooney, Fahmy’s international lawyer, expressed gratitude to the Egyptian president “for exercising his power to pardon the two journalists.”

Mohamed Fahmy hugs his wife Marwa Omara after being released from Torah prison in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday

Mohamed Fahmy hugs his wife Marwa Omara after being released from Torah prison in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. (Photo: Twitter)

“This is a historic day in Egypt where the government has finally corrected a longstanding injustice, and set two innocent men free,” she said in a statement.

Fahmy himself vowed to use his own situation to start a discussion about how best to help those imprisoned abroad.

“Other Canadians, innocent Canadians, could be in my similar situation tomorrow morning.”

Fahmy also thanked Canadians who had petitioned for his release, saying their voices, combined with the work of his lawyers and free press advocates, helped to secure his pardon.

“I would like to thank all the Canadians … who have united behind my cause and called for my freedom, because this pardon did not just happen like that,” he said. “I was told that Canada really stood up for me.”

He thanked federal Liberal and NDP leaders Justin Trudeau and Tom Mulcair for speaking regularly with his family, saying that “uplifted his spirits” in prison.

CBC World News: Mohamed Fahmy, Canadian journalist, pardoned by Egyptian president, released from prison

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945. (Photo: Public Domain). (Alistair Reign News Blog www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • Although the ISIS terrorist network has claimed to have hacked Department of Defense networks to gain personal information, it is fairly obvious much of the information came from social media websites. Individuals who are becoming targeted victims handed the required details over to the individuals calling for the attacks. Users of social media websites are urged to use caution whenever they are online to avoid attracting attention to themselves or inadvertently providing easily accessible information that could be turned into targeting data.
  • Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016
  • Mona Relief has become a lifeline to the Yemeni families they reach; delivering more than physical aid, they bring with them a glimmer of hope; a reassurance that Yemen is not forgotten.
  • People light candles at the scene of a massive car bomb attack in Karada, a busy shopping district where people were shopping for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, in the center of Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016. More than 100 people died Sunday in a car bombing that the Islamic extremist militia group said it carried out, an official of the Iraqi Interior Ministry said.
  • A 29-year-old woman who was raped in October 2015 by peacekeepers stationed in Bambari, Central African Republic. © 2015 Lewis Mudge/Human Rights Watch
  • Many children in the street killed from a Saudi-led airstrike on a Yemen refugee camp.
  • Doctors Without Borders nurse Lajos Zoltan Jecs, pictured in 2013, was sleeping when the airstrike pounded the Kunduz hospital. (Photo: MSF)
  • People searched for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by an airstrike in Sana, Yemen, on June 12. (Photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters) alistairreignblog.com
  • Donald Trump Jumps The Shark
  • Women to be placed on Canadian bank notes. Merna Forster helps prove that the adage is true, one voice can raise the voices of many. Forster is from British Columbia's provincial capital, Victoria, and her petition has brought about recognition to an overlooked wrong that required "righting" - and that she did with an impressive 73,402 signatures.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Donald Trump kissing his daughter
  • GOP Caption winner first place on AlistairReignBlog.com
  • Putin Pumpkin Head
  • Includes Meryl Streep's full Golden Globe speech, a peek at her stage performance where she play Donald Trump, SAG Speeches: Ashton Kutcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, Lily Tomlin and others, as well as talk show host's comments and interviews. Tied together with indie music and skits of Peter Griffin of Family Guy playing Donald Trump.
  • Donald Trump for President of the (Mexican free and NOW Muslim free) United Sates of America. (AlistairReignBlog.com),
  • Tune in to the Putin and Obama Old-Timey Show ~*~ Vaudeville Style!! Brought to you by Alistair Reign News Blog: AlistairReignBlog.com
  • al-Batshit-Assad
  • When cartoons turn into people
  • Donald Trump for President
  • Victoria's 'Homeless' Drug Addicts
  • Take Our Poll: Come on in and tell us who haunted your nightmares! Which vampire had the most ferocious fangs?