Ministry welcomes Egypt’s release of Greste colleagues

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) welcomed the decision of the court in Egypt which ruled to release on bail Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Canadian Mohamed Fahmy from Torah Prison Thursday.

In a statement the ministry expressed hope that the decision of the Egyptian court would promote freedom of speech and wished Egypt success with the transition process ahead of its upcoming parliamentary elections in the first half of this year.

The two Al-Jazeera field team members were arrested, tried and jailed with Peter Greste for more than a year. Australian-Latvian dual citizen Greste was released last week and is already home with his family in Australia, however continued to advocate the same justice for his colleagues.

Canadian Fahmy actually renounced his dual Egyptian citizenship last week under pressure from the authorities and in hope that he may warrant a similar deportation to Greste’s, which came with no advance notice whatsoever.

The decision was hailed with cheers inside the courtroom itself, despite the fact that the hearing is not over and the verdict has still to be determined.

As a Canadian, Fahmy has been assessed a bail bond worth about €29,000 (250,000 Egyptian pounds), whereas Baher Mohamed was free to walk free of any security deposit until the reading of the final sentence.

Greste hailed their release on his Twitter feed, but reminded all that the process wasn’t over with this court ruling. Indeed, while welcoming Egypt’s easement of incarceration against him, Canada today condemned Fahmy’s sentencing as “unacceptable” and continued to demand his "immediate and full release."

 

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