Mohamed Fahmy has written a letter from Egypt’s Tora prison to remind the world that his incarceration and the imprisonment of dozens of other journalists is wrong.
Fahmy wrote that he was arrested for doing nothing more than the job that he loved.
He, along with Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, have been falsely accused of providing a platform to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.
“To silence me and my colleagues on the pretext that we’re a threat to national security and members of a terrorist organisation is a sheer insult to the intelligence of Egyptian people and the democracy promoted in the newly ratified constitution,” Fahmy wrote.
In response to questions about whether or not hunger strikes are actually happening in Tora prison, Fahmy wrote that the “dozens of prisoners enduring weeks of genuine, life-threatening hunger strikes, are noble men who have no other way to contest the ill treatment they face in prison”.
Abdullah Elshamy, an Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent, has been on a hunger strike for weeks and has lost more than 30kg.
Fahmy called Elshamy’s detention for almost nine months without a trial a “breach of human rights”.
“I see no better occasion than today to remind the world about the plight of these men and that there are dozens of respected, local Egyptian reporters and citizen journalists who are suffering in prison awaiting trial,” Fahmy wrote. “They are simply prisoners of conscience.”
The trial of Al Jazeera’s journalists will resume in Cairo on Saturday, which is also International Press Freedom Day.
Al Jazeera denies all of the charges against its journalists.