Canada FM says release of Al Jazeera's Fahmy 'imminent'

Foreign minister says diplomatic efforts to free the Canadian-Egyptian journalist from Cairo prison are going very well.

    Al Jazeera journalists are falsely accused of colluding with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood [AP]
    Al Jazeera journalists are falsely accused of colluding with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood [AP]

    The release of Al Jazeera's jailed Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy from an Egyptian prison is "imminent", Canada's foreign minister has said.

    John Baird told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday that diplomatic efforts to free Fahmy were going very well, but he did not elaborate as to when it was expected to happen.

    Fahmy, Al Jazeera's Cairo bureau chief, was arrested in December 2013 along with his colleagues Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed.

    They had been falsely accused of colluding with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

    Al Jazeera's Greste urges Egypt to free his colleagues

    After their conviction in June 2014, the men were sentenced to between 7 and 10 years in jail.

    On January 1, Egypt's Court of Cassation overturned the journalists' sentences and ordered a retrial, but there is still no indication of when that trial will begin.

    Greste was released on Sunday after 400 days in jail.

    Speaking on Monday, he said: "I feel incredible angst about my colleagues, leaving them behind." 

    He added that his release was a "massive step forward" for Egypt and that he hoped the country would "keep going down this path" with his colleagues. 

    "Mohamed Fahmy is an extraordinary professional, a dedicated journalist, very passionate and a strong-willed character," said Greste.

    "Baher is one of the most amazing family men I've ever met. If anyone's suffered out of all of this, it is Baher, he has a wife, and one of his children was born while he was prison."

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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