Canada has applied for Mohamed Fahmy's deportation from Egypt: wife
Published Monday, August 31, 2015 8:47AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, August 31, 2015 11:17AM EDT
The wife of jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy says the Canadian Embassy in Cairo has applied to deport her husband from Egypt.
Marwa Omara told The Canadian Press that the Canadian Embassy in the Egyptian capital has also applied for a presidential pardon for her husband.
Earlier on Monday, she told CTV's Canada AM that she fears her husband's life is in danger while he remains imprisoned.
After an Egyptian court sentenced Fahmy and two other Al-Jazeera journalists to three years in prison on Saturday, Omara urged Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Canadian government to step up the pressure on Egypt.
"I understand that the Canadian government is doing everything it can, but still, we need more for them," she said from Cairo.
"I believe this is a golden opportunity for Mr. Harper to get Mohamed out of here. There's a big chance for the Canadian government to prove that they can protect the Canadian citizens."
The sentence came at the end of a retrial for Fahmy, who was initially charged and arrested in December 2013. Fahmy and his colleagues, who stood trial on charges of supporting the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood and fabricating footage, were found guilty in June 2014. The first trial was widely criticized as being a sham.
Omara said she is worried about her husband's health, as he has hepatitis C and requires medication. However, Egyptian officials told her she has to wait for 30 days after his sentencing before she can see him.
As well, she says he requires a specific diet and mineral water, which are not available in prison.
"I'm really worried about him. If I waited for 30 days, there will be a danger on his life," Omara said.
Following the sentencing, Harper's political opponents called on the prime minister to get more involved in the case.
On Sunday, both the NDP and the Liberal foreign affairs critics urged Harper to personally call Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and demand Fahmy's release.
Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair have been vocal about the case as well, criticizing the government for not doing more.
Defence Minister Jason Kenney told reporters Sunday, that the Canadian government would continue to raise its concerns about the case "at the highest levels," but did not specify if Harper would personally become involved.
Suggesting that "forceful discretion" is sometimes required in international affairs, Kenney said, "It's easy for an opposition leader to stand up with a megaphone.”
In a tweet Saturday, Harper said that "Canada continues to call on Egypt for the immediate and full release of Mr. Fahmy, and full co-operation to facilitate his return home."
With files from The Canadian Press