Human rights lawyer Amal Clooney will soon be traveling to Egypt to fight for the release of Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy. The Egyptian government is not a big fan of Amal, who famously married George Clooney last year, and has even threatened to arrest her for criticizing the justice system. Still, the celebrity lawyer has enormous legal clout to put behind Fahmy’s defense.
According to an email sent to CBC News from Fahmy’s fiancée, Clooney will be arriving in Egypt “very soon” and will meet directly with President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi and Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry about the journalist’s release.
Egyptian government officials had said that Fahmy would be released shortly after his Australian colleague Peter Greste was deported on February 1. Now government officials are threatening the Al Jazeera journalist with a retrial starting on February 12, a disaster according to Fahmy’s statement to CNN.
“The trial date on February 12 represents our worst nightmare, to have to go through another circus of a retrial.”
Fahmy was arrested in December 2013, along with Baher Mohamed and Peter Greste. They were working for Al Jazeera to cover the violent crackdown of Islamist protesters when they were accused of being part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Egypt.
According to a statement from Amal Clooney, the lawyer hopes to get the same release deal as Greste received.
“I have been in touch with the Fahmy family and we are all delighted that Peter Greste has been released. As Mr. Fahmy’s counsel, we are doing all we can to ensure the same outcome for Mr. Fahmy, who has suffered the same injustice.”
Fahmy had dual citizenship, Canada and Egypt, but renounced his Egyptian citizenship as part of his legal strategy. A law passed in November allows foreign convicts or suspects to be tried or imprisoned in their home country. Despite being legally a foreigner, the journalist’s case continues to drag on.
For Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian citizen, the retrial will continue on without the inquiries from star lawyer Amal Clooney.
As for Mohamed Fahmy, there’s still hope for him and his family. His fiancée told CNN she had hoped the couple would have a “simple life.”
“I was very happy when I first met Mohamed. I felt that he’s the one. And after his arrest, I found myself doing things that I never expected that I’m able to do.”
If Amal Clooney can push Egypt to honor its promise, there’s hope the couple can get on with their lives without fear.
[Image Credit: ABC News]