Amal Clooney to push Egyptian President to free Al Jazeera journalist

amal-clooney lawyer

amal-clooney lawyerInternational human rights lawyer Amal Clooney will travel to Cairo in hopes of freeing jailed journalist Mohamed Fahmy, the journalist said in a statement released by his family Sunday.

Fahmy, who is a dual Canadian-Egyptian citizen, has been granted a retrial, he said in the statement.

“The trial date on February 12 represents our worst nightmare, to have to go through another circus of a retrial,” he said.

Fahmy was one of three Al Jazeera journalists who were arrested in Cairo in December 2013. Producer Baher Mohamed also remains behind bars.

Australian Peter Greste was released last week. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Greste’s freedom was won “unconditionally.”

But one of Greste’s lawyers suggested days ago there could be more legal issues ahead for Greste.

“According to Egyptian law, this is considered an extradition,” Amr Eldib said. “Peter must be tried in Australia and authorities there must determine if he is guilty or not.”

On February 2, Clooney gave CNN a statement regarding Fahmy.

“I have been in touch with the Fahmy family and we are all delighted that Peter Greste has been released,” it said. “As Mr. Fahmy’s counsel we are doing all we can to ensure the same outcome for Mr. Fahmy, who has suffered the same injustice.”

Clooney requested  a meeting with Egyptian president 

Clooney has requested a meeting with Egypt’s president to push for the release of Al-Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy, a letter obtained by AFP on Saturday shows.

Clooney, a famed human rights lawyer who married Hollywood star George Clooney last year, has thrown her legal clout and celebrity behind Fahmy to secure his release.

“Despite clear assurances that he would be released, Mr Fahmy remains in detention in Egypt,” she wrote.

“I therefore plan to visit Cairo in the near future to meet with Mr Fahmy and to discuss the prospects for his release.”

An Egyptian government official had said that Fahmy, a dual Egyptian-Canadian citizen, would be freed soon after his Australian colleague Peter Greste was deported on 1 February, provided that he renounce his Egyptian citizenship.

“Since Mr Greste’s release, Mr Fahmy’s Egyptian counsel has been informed by Egyptian government officials that his release was to follow, and that it was imminent,” Clooney wrote in the letter addressed to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his foreign minister.

“This was to be expected, given that Mr Fahmy has been the victim of the same injustice as Mr Greste,” wrote the Britain-based lawyer of Lebanese origin, who has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and taken on other high profile cases.

“Since this has not yet occurred, however, I now write to request a meeting with you, or your designated officials, as soon as possible to discuss the status of the case” she wrote.

Fahmy and Greste, along with Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, were arrested and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison after being convicted of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood in their coverage, a charge rights groups called absurd.

The court sentenced them to up to 10 years in prison. An appeals court overturned the verdict and ordered a retrial, while under international pressure Sisi last year passed a decree allowing incarcerated foreign nationals to be deported to their home countries.