OTTAWA – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today sent the following letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the issue of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s retrial in Egypt:
Dear Prime Minister,
I am writing you today regarding the upcoming verdict on Mohamed Fahmy’s re-trial, set for July 30th, which continues to be of great concern to Canadians.
As you know, a Canadian citizen has been unjustly imprisoned in Egypt as a result of an arbitrary process. The Government of Canada has an obligation to protect and assist Canadian citizens facing grim and appalling conditions, such as those faced by Mr. Fahmy during his extensive imprisonment.
I urge you once again to do everything in your power to ensure Mr. Fahmy returns to Canada as quickly as possible, once the verdict of his re-trial is rendered. Media reports claim that your government has agreed to authorize both a deportation and a pardon request prepared by Mr. Fahmy’s lawyers in the event he is ordered back to prison. We have already seen how effective discussions between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott led to the release of Australian citizen Peter Greste. It is time for you to publicly demand Mr. Fahmy’s release, and let both Canadians and Egyptians know that Mr. Fahmy has the support of his government.
I, and the entire Liberal Caucus, believe that all Canadians are equal, and deserve their government’s support when they are unjustly imprisoned abroad. Mr. Fahmy, who was simply carrying out his journalistic duties, deserves no less support from you and your government.
I look forward to your prompt reply and attention to this matter.
Justin P.J. Trudeau
Member of Parliament for Papineau
Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada