Thursday, October 15, 2015

Harper sounded wrong notes in Fahmy affair


Image from article, with caption: Former Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy held a press conference at Ryerson University after returning from Canada from Egypt where he was imprisoned for terrorism-related charges.

Canadians who get into trouble abroad want to know their government will go to bat for them. If they are caught up in political turmoil through no fault of their own, they especially want to know they won’t be left twisting in the wind.
Mohamed Fahmy, the Al Jazeera journalist who was imprisoned in Egypt for more than 400 days for the alleged crime of “spreading false news,” was not abandoned by the Canadian government. But now that he is safely back in Canada, he is making it clear that Ottawa could have been much more effective in advocating on his behalf. At the very least, Prime Minister Stephen Harper could have been more adroit in combining public diplomacy with behind-the-scenes lobbying to free Fahmy much sooner.

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