CAIRO: Canadian Journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who renounced his Egyptian citizenship Tuesday, cannot restore the citizenship anymore according to the Egyptian Law, Mohamed Farouk, the lawyer from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
Fahmy renounced his Egyptian citizenship in order to qualify for deportation in accordance with a presidential decree issued by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi in Nov. 2014.
In accordance this presidential decree, foreigners who do not have Egyptian citizenship, may be deported to their home country to be tried or serve a sentence if it “serves Egyptian national interests.” The deportation should be carried out upon an approval from the General Prosecution and from the Cabinet.
A diplomatic delegation from the Canadian embassy and Fahmy’s Lawyer Khaled Abu Bakr headed Wednesday to the Egyptian Supreme Judicial Court to meet the General Attorney Hisham Barakat to discuss release procedures, Youm7 reported.
Fahmy is one of three Al Jazeera English journalists who were arrested on Dec. 29. 2013, accused of broadcasting “false news.”
Farouk added that the Egyptian government also technically had the right to revoke citizenship from Fahmy because he did not notify the Egyptian authorities about his dual nationalities, as required by law.
If one’s nationality were stripped by the government, one can appeal the decision, in in Fahmy’s case, he will be unable to restore citizenship because he voluntarily renounced it, Farouk continued.
State newspaper al-Waqaei al-Masryia published Tuesday a decree signed by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior Dec. 25, 2014, in which the Egyptian government accepted that Mohamed Fahmy can keep the Canadian citizenship without the Egyptian nationality. Fahmy was born in Kuwait on April 27, 1974.
No guarantees on prosecution abroad
Peter Greste, a dual Australian/Latvian citizen and Fahmy’s colleague, was deported Sunday, and reunited with his family in Cyprus, then flew with them to Australia.
The November Presidential decree stipulates that deported foreigners should face trial or taking time over charges shall be tried in their homelands; however, an Egyptian decree has no guarantees for the prosecution of an outside state, and Fahmy’s charges may not be considered a crime in those countries, Farouk added.
“There are no deportation treaties between Egypt from and Canada or Australia and no guarantees for the prosecutions, so the decree is flawed,” he continued. “The decree was issued particularly for this case,” Farouk said.
The Canadian embassy in Cairo declined to comment on Fahmy’s release. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in June he had conveyed his “displeasure” to the Egyptian government regarding the verdict.
The third journalist, Baher Mohamed, has only Egyptian citizenship, and was accused of weapons possession when he was arrested. No announcements have been made from the state in reference to his case. The case has been appealed, but no date has yet been set for a retrial.