CAIRO: “I need this to be solved sooner or later; I am not seeing a verdict in this trial for at least another three months as I am hearing from my experts and my lawyers,” Mohamed Fahmy told MSNBC, who has been without official identification documents for months.
The Canadian government has come under fire by its citizens for a perceived inability or refusal to issue Fahmy, an Al Jazeera journalist, a replacement passport after his old one was confiscated by Egyptian police during his 2013 arrest for “broadcasting false news.”
In order to obtain a new passport, Fahmy was told by Canadian passport officials that his court-imposed travel ban should be lifted first, he told MSNBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin on Wednesday. The same condition was reiterated by the Canadian Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson earlier this month.
“This is very troubling for me because the judge himself…told the [Canadian Ambassador] present in court to issue [Fahmy] a passport if his old one was declared missing,” Fahmy added.
During his more than one-year imprisonment and before his June seven year-sentence was abolished by Egypt’s highest court, Fahmy renounced his Egyptian citizenship, after he said he was told by Egyptian officials this allow him to be deported to Canada.
Currently, Fahmy has no identification documents, something which he repeatedly described as causing him troubles with police officers and security checkpoints at the street. He also said a document he received from the Canadian embassy in Egypt saying he is a Canadian was not enough and “unacceptable” by Egyptian authorities, making him unable to marry his fiancée.
My name is on a no fly list. If I show up at travel counter police would grab me in a second The passport is for marriage & identification
— Mohamed Fadel Fahmy (@MFFahmy11) April 1, 2015
Canadian Parliament Member Paul Dewar, who has previously brought up heated questions against Foreign Minister Nicholson regarding Fahmy,described the passport issue a “travesty.”
Dewar raising Fahmy’s crisis during a session at the Canadian Parliament
“There is no real rationale for this other than that a government is either ignorant of their powers or dismissive of the rights of a Canadian citizen,” Dewar told MSNBC.
He said that denying Fahmy’s basic rights as a Canadian citizen is “unacceptable” and that he should be home like his Australian colleague Peter Greste, who was deported in February per the same extradition decree.
Furthermore, Dewer excluded that Fahmy’s passport crisis would be about the “sensitivity” of diplomatic ties between Egypt and Canada, saying “it is about the acquiescence of our government to do its job.”
Canada has previously announced coordination with the Egyptian side to solve Fahmy’s crisis.
Fahmy and his Egyptian colleague Baher Mohamed will stand before the court on their next hearing April 22. A new technical committee was formed by the court to review video content seized at the time of their arrest, after the past committee’s members failed to answer questions about a main charge in the trial in a previous hearing.