Canadian journalist held in Cairo prison 'extremely frustrated,' brother tells KNL
Published Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:54PM EST
An Egyptian-Canadian journalist held in a Cairo prison is “extremely frustrated” and worried about his fate, his brother said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Kevin Newman Live.
Sherif Fahmy said his brother, Mohamed Fahmy, doesn’t understand why he is being held in jail with “high-profile members” of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been labelled a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government.
“When we met him yesterday, he was extremely frustrated and wanted to know how (this) would all resolve and when,” Sherif Fahmy said from Kuwait.
“At the end, he’s just a journalist.”
Mohamed Fahmy was among 20 employees of broadcaster Al Jazeera who were charged with terrorism-related offences in Egypt.
According to Fahmy’s family, he has been charged with using illegal equipment, broadcasting false news that endangered national security and being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Fahmy, Al Jazeera English’s acting bureau chief in Cairo, was taken into custody on Dec. 29 along with two colleagues.
Egyptian authorities have accused Al Jazeera of being biased towards former president Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military last summer. The prosecutors have accused the Al Jazeera journalists in Egypt of “manipulating pictures” to “give the impression to the outside world that there is a civil war that threatens to bring down the state.”
Although Fahmy is growing increasingly upset and agitated in prison, he does not appear to be physically hurt, his brother said.
He said the fact that Fahmy has dual Canadian-Egyptian citizenship seems to be “limiting the actions of the Canadian government,” but added that there is now “fast action” on the case from the Canadian side.
He said Fahmy has been questioned about his background, where he studied, where he worked and what type of devices he’s used in his work.
The family is “extremely worried” about what will happen next, Sherif Fahmy said.
Fahmy's family moved to Canada in 1991. He lived in Montreal and Vancouver before moving abroad for work.
With files from The Canadian Press