WATCH: Global News’ Howard Cohen spoke with detained Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy in Cairo about the widely denounced terrorism charges he faces in his retrial. The interview aired on Focus Montreal for World Press Freedom Day.
MONTREAL — On May 3, 2014, Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy was in an Egyptian courtroom facing widely denounced terrorism charges.
He told the judge: “Today, is World Press Freedom Day. The whole world will be watching you closely.”
The judge sent him back to the cage and wished him a happy press freedom day.
One year on, Fahmy faces a retrial and risks being sent back to Egypt’s maximum security prison.
When Global News spoke to Fahmy on this year’s World Press Freedom Day, he said he wants the international community to remember that “journalists are messengers. We need to be protected by governments and organizations alike.”
“I am so happy that we have the support of the world on this day.”
Fahmy told Global News that his lawyer, Amal Clooney, has received her visa and will be coming to Egypt for the defence phase of the retrial.
Clooney, who waved 90 per cent of her fees, is one of the world’s best human rights lawyers. She has communicated with governments in Egypt, Canada, the United States and the United Arab Emirates on Fahmy’s behalf.
“She is a compassionate person.”
“She’s a true believer that this case needs not just local, legal rebuttals, but also lobbying because it’s a political case.”
Fahmy told Global News that he would like to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but his request has been rejected by Ottawa.
Fahmy would tell Harper that “I, as a Canadian, respect the laws in Canada … The kind of support I am getting from Canadians is because it’s very obvious that I am innocent.”