What has #HarperCallEgypt accomplished so far?


It’s been just over three weeks since we launched the #HarperCallEgypt campaign. What have we been able to accomplish so far?




In just three weeks, we’ve made incredible progress. But we’re not stopping until Mohamed is safely home in Canada. 

Posted in ACTIVISM

We need Action NOW, not more promises

mohamed-fahmyAfter 429 days since his arrest, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy deserves more than empty promises. 

This weekend, Egyptian President el-Sisi stated in an interview that he would issue a presidential pardon for Mohamed and his colleagues, but only after the current retrial was completed.

In an interview with CBC News, Mohamed noted that this type of rhetoric from el-Sisi is not new.

“He has claimed he would pardon us at least three times in the past year, at the UNGA (UN General Assembly) in November in Davos and several other occasions,” Mohamed said.

As we mentioned previously, el-Sisi’s statement indicates that his government is aware of the international attention on this case, and that he is feeling pressure.

But empty promises are not enough. And waiting for the retrial to continue indefinitely is not an option.

After 429 days, Mohamed and his colleagues deserve justice and freedom.

And we need YOUR HELP to ensure that the Canadian government does its part to ensure Mohamed’s safe return home to Canada. 


1. Tweet your support!   Use the hashtag #HarperCallEgypt

Sample tweets:

Isn’t it time that @pmharper do something to help Mohamed Fahmy? #HarperCallEgypt NOW  (click here to tweet!)

Mohamed Fahmy has spent over 400 days in prison just for being a journalist. Canada, we need to get him home. #HarperCallEgypt NOW    (click here to tweet!)

Because #journalismisnotacrime – @pmharper needs to #HarperCallEgypt NOW & ask for Mohamed Fahmy’s release immediately #freeAJStaff    (click here to tweet!)

2. Sign the Petition!

Join 50,000 others  (& share the petition widely with your contacts!)

3. Tell Prime Minister Harper to call Egypt! 

EMAIL: stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca

Sample email (copy & paste)

FAX: 613-941-6900

Sample fax (copy & paste)          

CALL: 613.992.4211 

Leave this message:

“I am a supporter of Mohamed Fahmy. He is a Canadian citizen, and a journalist, and though he has committed no crime, he is set to go to retrial onFebruary 23. I urge Prime Minister Harper to contact President el-Sisi immediately and request that Mr. Fahmy’s deportation order be honoured so that he can return safely home to Canada right away.”

(Of course, please remember to remain polite and respectful!)

Media coverage:

Posted in ACTIVISM

Concern over Canada’s lack of action continues to grow


Lawyer Amal Clooney’s public statement made global headlines this week as concern for Mohamed Fahmy’s case continues to grow.

Major news outlets around the world carried the story, quoting Clooney’s critique of Canada’s “woefully inadequate” efforts to advocate on Mohamed’s behalf. Articles and comments of support for Mohamed circulated widely on Twitter.

Screen shot 2015-02-28 at 9.48.33 PMAs international concern for Mohamed’s case continues to grow, today the Egyptian government indicated that they are aware of the scrutiny.

In an interview with a London-based newspaper, President el-Sisi of Egypt promised to invoke a presidential pardon for Mohamed and his colleagues.

However, this pardon would only be carried out after the judicial process and retrial was completed.

“We are in a country respecting the judiciary and I can’t interfere to release them until the final verdict,” said el-Sisi.

While this quote indicates that President el-Sisi is aware of the international attention focused on this case, we are concerned that this option is not enough to secure Mohamed’s freedom.

We are continuing to urge the Canadian government to work with the Egyptian government NOW to ensure Mohamed’s safe return to Canada. 

Media coverage (selected)

Posted in ACTIVISM

Government action on Fahmy case “woefully inadequate”: Clooney

Composite image: CBC News

Composite image: CBC News

In a strongly worded statement today, Amal Clooney (Mohamed’s lawyer) criticized the Canadian government’s lack of advocacy for her client.

After detailing the unjust arrest, trial, and current retrial of her client, Clooney argued that Canada’s response was absolutely ineffective.

“…[W]hat did Canado do? It published a short written statement by a junior minister…Such sheepish whimpers are woefully inadequate when it comes to enforcing an agreement reached with a sovereign state regarding a citizen’s release from detention.

Canada should now begin real advocacy to ensure that Egypt honours its agreement to release Mr Fahmy from Egypt. There is no legal impediment to his immediate transfer to Canada. Yet calls from Canadian society and politicians for Prime Minister Harper to pick up the phone to personally intervene in the case have so far fallen on deaf ears.” [emphasis added]

Yesterday, Canada’s NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar issued a strongly worded statement, urging Stephen Harper to intervene personally.

“Despite action by other heads of government, Prime Minister Harper still refuses to pick up the phone to call President al-Sisi, and no representative of the Prime Minister’s Office has contacted Mr. Fahmy directly. This failure is inexplicable and inexcusable.” [Statement; emphasis added]

As we continue with the campaign to bring Mohamed safely home, citizens and politicians are continuing to show their active support of Mohamed’s case. NDP MP Peggy Nash tweeted her support.


MP Kirsty Duncan (Liberal) raised Mohamed’s case in Question Period this week.

And today, the Documentary Organization of Canada (representing over 600 independent documentary filmmakers in Canada) sent a letter to Prime Minister Harper expressing their concern about the case.

As a country which is known as one of the leading democracies in the world, Canada must be seen to stand for freedom of speech…It is part of our social, moral and cultural fabric.

We look to you [Prime Minister Harper] for strong leadership supporting these ideals by securing the immediate repatriation of Mr. Fahmy. (Documentary Organization of Canada)

As always, we’re continuing to wait for confirmation of action from the Prime Minister’s Office. And we’re not stopping our campaign until Mohamed is safely home in Canada.

Media Coverage:

  • CBC NewsAmal Clooney wants Stephen Harper to ‘pick up the phone‘ “
  • Globe and Mail “Harper pushes for discussion with Egyptian President
  • CBC  “Stephen Harper, Mohamed Fahmy and the Unmade Phone Call
  • Huffington Post (Amal Clooney editorial)


Posted in ACTIVISM

Canada’s Leader of the Opposition goes to bat for Mohamed Fahmy

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 8.18.06 PMToday, Canada’s Official Opposition Leader, Thomas Mulcair (NDP), used his first question in Question Period to ask Prime Minister Harper directly: “Has the Prime Minister…spoken directly and personally to President el-Sisi to ask that Mr. Fahmy be returned to Canada?

Prime Minister Harper responded, stating that “…the government has…called for Mr. Fahmy’s release…this has been raised at all levels, including my level, by the Government of Canada.”

Mr. Mulcair was not satisfied with this response. “We asked a clear question and [Mr. Fahmy’s] family deserves a clear answer,” Mr. Mulcair said, pressing Mr. Harper to confirm or deny that a phone conversation had occurred.

After Prime Minister Harper continued to evade the question, Mr. Mulcair summed up the response: “So, it’s a ‘no’.

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 9.11.23 PM

This level of support and discussion is extremely important, emphasizing the incredible amount of concern surrounding Mohamed’s case in Canada.

In recent days, other notable individuals have joined the call for Mohamed’s freedom. Iconic Canadian musician Raffi Cavoukian tweeted his support for the #HarperCallEgypt campaign.

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 10.02.46 PM

On Monday, founder of Farahway Global and a Centre for Social Innovation “Agent of Change” Farah Mawani published a powerful editorial in the Huffington Post that drew more than 1000 “likes” in less than a day.

And Iranian-British actor Nazanin Boniadi (star of Homeland and Scandal) also tweeted her support for the campaign. 

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 9.29.45 PM

Posted in ACTIVISM

“It’s another circus of a retrial”: Court delayed until March 8

Screen shot 2015-02-23 at 11.46.09 PM

Both Mohamed Fahmy and his colleague, Baher Mohamed, were in court today as their retrial commenced in Cairo. Unfortunately, the judge quickly adjourned proceedings until March 8.

It’s another circus of a retrial,” said Mohamed Fahmy today to the CBC, noting that the delay was caused by witnesses who were not present.

Expressing his frustration, Mohamed noted that he’s still doesn’t have “full freedom….I still have to sign in at the police station every day and it just doesn’t make any sense.”

While the retrial delay was a disappointment, media coverage was strong today, with the case leading the news across Canada.

As well, NDP MP Wayne Marston asked today about Mohamed’s case in Question Period. The Minister of State Lynne Yelich responded, giving an almost identical answer to her statement of two weeks ago, saying that the Canadian government has been raising the issue at the “highest levels”, the same vague response we have been hearing repeatedly.

Screen shot 2015-02-24 at 12.03.50 AM

Media coverage: 

Posted in ACTIVISM

Thousands rally in support of Mohamed’s case


After 421 days since his arrest in Egypt, thousands of Canadians continue to stand in support of Mohamed Fahmy.

Political leaders, journalists, filmmakers, teachers, and ordinary citizens have all loudly called for action from the Canadian government to ensure Mohamed’s safe return to Canada.

Tomorrow, Mohamed and his colleague, Baher, return to court as the retrial continues. And, after 421 days since their arrest, we remain firmly committed to their cause.

We’ll be tweeting the proceedings from the courtroom, and continuing to press for action from the Canadian government. (Remember, Mohamed’s deportation order can be enacted at any time, so action needs to happen).

Screen shot 2015-02-22 at 12.16.49 PM

We’re continuing to see wide-spread media coverage in the past few days, including a feature interview on the Fifth Estate, and articles in the Globe and Mail and the Guardian.

As well, the journalism community continues to show their support for Mohamed & his colleagues. This week, Peter Greste received the RTS Journalism TV award on behalf of himself and Mohamed and Baher.

Screen shot 2015-02-22 at 12.01.02 PM


Throughout it all, we continue to be thankful for all the support from so many Canadians. And, if you’re still wondering how to help, here are a few ideas

Media Coverage:

Posted in ACTIVISM