Al Jazeera journalist Fahmy donates money in response to Sisi’s initiative
Mohamed Fahmy inside the defendants cage during his trial - AFP/Khaled Desouki
By NOURHAN MAGDI

CAIRO: Detained Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was sentenced to seven years in the Mariott Cell case, donated 15,000 EGP in response to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s announced initiative to donate for Egypt, reported Aswat Masriya Wednesday.

Sisi announced in a Tuesday speech he would take a 50 percent pay cut from his salary as well as donate half of his assets to boost Egypt’s economy. This move encouraged a number of businessmen and citizens to donate half of their salaries and assets as well.

Although behind bars and detained in an alleged unfair trail that caused controversy internationally, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Fahmy reacted to Sisi’s initiative and decided to donate 15,000 EGP for Egypt, his brother Adel told Aswat Masriya.

Fahmy sent a letter Wednesday from his cell – a copy of which was received by Aswat Masriya – saying, “I directed my family in their last visit [to me] at my cell Thursday to donate with an amount of money for live long Egypt’s fund … in response to the initiative of President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.”

“This is the best that I can do for my country while I am behind bars and I wish that I [can] do more for my country and to [support] it with my pen and writings,” Fahmy’s letter read.

His brother Adel told Aswat Masriya that Fahmy has nothing to do with the Muslim Brotherhood and expressed his hope that Sisi would reconsider the Mariott Cell case and pardon Fahmy.

Fahmy was one of the three other Al Jazeera English reporters who were sentenced to different prison periods on Monday. It caused international controversy by local and international human rights organizations, which found the verdict shocking and lacking solid evidence.

The three were arrested in Dec. 2013 and were accused of publishing false news and aiding the “terrorist” group. They were among 20 defendants, of whom another three foreigners were tried in absentia.

Following the ousting of former President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, the Qatari network has been seen in Egypt as a mouthpiece of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was designated a terrorist organization Dec. 25, 2013.

Foreign governments also reacted negatively to the verdicts and a number of Egyptian ambassadors abroad were summoned to comment on the sentences. In response, Attorney General Hisham Barakat’s office has dismissed the summons in a statement where he considered the summons as “interference in the state’s internal affairs.”

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