Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Harper should up the ante on Egypt over Fahmy

Editorial, ipolitics.ca

image from


Prime Minister Stephen Harper should be much more aggressive in dealing with the Egyptian government on the matter of its trumped-up case against jailed Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy.
The first thing it should be doing is more loudly condemning the bogus charges against Fahmy – charges that include reporting “false news” – for which he was convicted and sentenced to three years in jail on Saturday. But Ottawa continued touting the need to avoid ‘megaphone diplomacy’ the following day, when Defence Minister Jason Kenney said a “degree of forceful discretion” would be needed to secure Fahmy’s release and return to Canada.
While it’s tempting to diminish calls for more forceful diplomacy coming from those without a stake in the game, the case against Harper’s strategy of discretion is starting to pile up.
But even if the Harper government doesn’t want to engage in public diplomacy, it has ample other private channels that it could and should be accessing in a bid to pressure Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s government to release Fahmy. He should especially resort to other measures if public calls for Fahmy’s release fail. ...

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