Signed in as:
Signed in as:
The partnership formed between Fahmy Foundation and Amnesty-Canada to produce a Protection Charter written by both parties and several associates stems from the torture, ill-treatment and unjust trial Mr. Fahmy endured in Egypt during his 411 days of incarceration 2013 while working as a journalist for Al Jazeera English. The 12-clause charter was signed by scores of former Canadian prisoners who experienced ill-treatment in prisons outside of Canada, human rights experts, lawyers, and most definitely by Mr. Gar Pardy, a former Canadian diplomat and former director general of consular affairs who has been calling for similar reforms stated in the charter.
Mr. Fahmy and Mr. Alex Neve the head of Amnesty met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion and members of the Canadian consular affairs team on separate occasions in Ottawa in 2016, They presented the charter which aims for better protection of Canadian citizens jailed abroad facing human rights abuses. At the time of the meetings there were 1,376 Canadians jailed abroad according to Global Affairs Canada.
Article 1 of the charters represents the basis of the charter. It calls on the Canadian government to enshrine a law that obligates the government to intervene when a Canadian is jailed abroad. Unfortunately, at the current state the government intervention is ‘not’ an obligation. The intervention is at the discretion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The revelation that Mr. Fahmy learned in his dingy cell while battling for his freedom surprised him when he learned that countries such as the US, the UK, Brazil, South-Africa, Mexico, Germany and many other nations of the European Union have a legislation in place or a law that obligates their government to intervene at the to attempt to free the prisoner. History has taught us that in some cases the level and speed of the intervention could save lives as more and more Canadians are being jailed in authoritarian countries where torture is common place.
Mr. Fahmy could not have been a free man today and could not have produced a much-needed charter alone. Alongside the Amnesty team, his lawyers Mr. Gary Caroline and Miss Johanna Gisalson based in Vancouver helped garner support from lawmakers, parliamentarians, former prisoners and families of prisoners currently jailed abroad who are hanging on a thread for any helping hand that can secure the release of their loves ones. Mr. Fahmy has always praised to the media the attempts and diligent work of the Canadian ambassador to free him where he was jailed in Egypt in the Scorpion Prison but he felt that the diplomatic mission in Egypt was “shackled” by the red tape and lack of legislation back at home in Canada. That is the main reason he felt passing a law that obligates the government to intervene when a Canadian is jailed abroad remains one of the main goals of the Fahmy Foundation.
Reform of the consular services is the main goal of the 12-point Protection Charter. In the following video of a press conference conducted by Mr. Fahmy and Mr. Alex Neve at the parliament building in Ottawa in January 2016, the dedicated partners invited families of two Canadian prisoners unjustly jailed abroad for close to a decade and presented the importance of the charter and the government interventions as a realistic reform for the federal government.
Canadian Journalists for Freedom of Expression, Amnesty International has officially endorsed the Protection Charter, along with 14 other civil society organizations, 16 former detainees and relatives of current detainees, and 16 lawyers and former diplomats.
Mr. Mohamed Fahmy and Mr. Alex Neve present the Protection Charter in Ottawa and call for the release of Canadian prisoners facing human abuses abroad.