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Rick Mercer, Stephen Lewis & Michael Ondaatje  join 1000s of Canadians supporting Mohamed Fahmy’s return to Canada

Monday, February 16, 2015

250 notable Canadians, including comedian Rick Mercer, diplomat Stephen Lewis & author Michael Ondaatje, voiced their support today for Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Harper.

We are writing to urge you to intervene personally and immediately [in Fahmy’s case],” states the letter, signed by 250 supporters, including Academy Award-nominated filmmaker & actor Sarah Polley, Academy Award-nominated director Atom Egoyan and author Naomi Klein.

After 411 days of incarceration in Egypt, Fahmy has been unsuccessful in his attempts to return home to Canada. His legal counsel, Amal Clooney, has stated that there is no legal impediment to Fahmy’s immediate transfer to Canada.

Currently released on bail and facing a retrial starting February 23, Fahmy and his family are concerned that the Canadian government has not advocated on his behalf at the highest levels of the Egyptian government.

In response, Fahmy’s family and supporters organized the #HarperCallEgypt campaign last week to bring attention to their cause. Last week, the #HarperCallEgypt hashtag was trending on Twitter in Canada, with Margaret Atwood, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and MP Marc Garneau tweeting their support for his case. This support joins the 50,000 Canadians who have signed an online petition calling for Fahmy’s return to Canada.

Cecilia Greyson, sister of filmmaker John Greyson who was detained in Egypt in 2013 and a coordinator of the #HarperCallEgypt campaign, said that the support has been “overwhelming.”

It’s been absolutely incredible to see support come in from across Canada,” Greyson said. “And it’s not stopping – more and more emails are coming from people asking how they can help.”

With statements of support from NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau issued last week, campaigners for Fahmy’s cause are planning to keep up the pressure until they hear from Prime Minister Harper directly.

“So far, Mr. Harper has not spoken in support of Mohamed Fahmy, and we want to know why,” said Cecilia Greyson. “It’s time to hear from our Prime Minister.”

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CLICK HERE to view Open Letter & signatories

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“Why can’t Canada get me home?” Campaign for Fahmy’s freedom continues

Saturday, February 14, 2015

After being released on bail yesterday, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy spoke to media and expressed his frustration with the delays in his deportation home.

“This is not acceptable,” said Fahmy, speaking The Independent on Friday. “Even the Egyptians are asking my family:  ‘Where are the Canadians?’  Is my dual citizenship an excuse to have a laid-back approach?”

Fahmy also expressed frustration that Canadian Prime Minister Harper has failed to advocate strongly on his behalf directly with Egyptian President el-Sisi.

“[W]hy hasn’t Harper spoken to Sissi?” said Fahmy.  “[Australian Prime Minister] Tony Abbott spoke to Sisi three times to get Peter [Greste] out of the country.”

Dr. Tarek Loubani, jailed in Egypt in 2013 for 50 days with his colleague, filmmaker John Greyson, agrees.

“In our case, Prime Minister Harper issued a strong statement on our behalf after only 45 days,” said Loubani. “The Prime Minister’s statement played a big part in our release one week later. Why hasn’t Harper done the same here?”

In a statement issued Thursday, lawyer Amal Clooney noted that there was no legal impediment to Mohamed’s deportation to Canada.

“There is no impediment to his immediate transfer to Canada and Prime Minister Harper should personally intervene to ensure that the promise that was made by the Egyptian government to his government, and to its citizen, is now honoured.”

It’s essential that we get the deportation before the retrial continues on February 23,” said Adel Fahmy, Mohamed’s brother. “We can’t sit back – we need to ensure Mohamed’s safe return to Canada immediately.”

In the past six days, thousands of Canadians, including both NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, have voiced their support for Mohamed Fahmy’s case with the #HarperCallEgypt campaign.

For more information: www.tarekandjohn.com

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Contact: Cecilia Greyson (@cgreyson Twitter)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Fahmy Family waiting desperately for PM Harper to take action

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The family of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy is urging Prime Minister Harper to personally intervene today to ensure Fahmy’s safe release from Egyptian prison.

Fahmy, a Canadian award-winning journalist, has been incarcerated for over 400 days in Cairo since being arrested with his colleagues, Peter Greste and Baher Mohammed in December, 2013.

This is a critical time for Fahmy, as he is now facing a retrial set for Thursday, February 12. Human rights organizations, political leaders, and most recently the highest appeals court in Egypt have condemned the original arrest and trial as lacking evidence and credibility, calling it “unjust” and a “sham”.

Close to 50,000 Canadians have signed an online petition published after the draconian 7-year sentence was imposed last summer, calling on the Prime Minister to take “urgent public action”.

In the past 3 days, thousands of Canadians have voiced their support for Fahmy’s case, urging the Prime Minister to contact President el-Sisi directly with the #HarperCallEgypt campaign.

On Tuesday, February 9, New Democratic Leader Thomas Mulcair wrote to Prime Minister Harper, urging him to “personally intervene” in Fahmy’s case. NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar spoke to the Fahmy family and offered support.

And Liberal leader Justin Trudeau followed suit, contacting the Fahmy family and stating in an official release that “Mr. Harper must intervene directly on behalf of Mr. Fahmy and demand his immediate release.”

In response, the Conservative government has issued statements through Minister of State Lynne Yelich and the Prime Minister’s spokesperson.

“At this critical stage in Mohamed’s case, statements issued by junior ministers and the Prime Minister’s spokesperson are completely inadequate,” says Adel Fahmy, Mohamed Fahmy’s brother.

“We are asking Prime Minister Harper to initiate personal, meaningful dialogue with President el-Sisi today, by telephone, before Mohamed’s retrial begins,” he says.

We are waiting for a miracle to happen,” says Marwa Omara, fiancée of jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy. “It’s time for Prime Minister Harper to make the call.”

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For more information: www.tarekandjohn.com

CONTACT: CECILIA GREYSON Cell (902) 401-0158 / Twitter: @cgreyson