Canada to issue passport to Al Jazeera journalist in Egypt

Published April 21st, 2015 - 03:09 GMT

The Canadian government said it will be granting a new passport to an Al Jazeera journalist, a naturalized Canadian, who is currently waiting for his retrial in Egypt, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"There are no words to describe how happy I am," Mohamed Fahmy said on CTV Toronto News.  

Fahmy's passport was taken in 2013 following his arrest, but the Canadian government said it was unable to give him a new one due to his bail conditions. No passport left the reporter without any official identification, making it difficult for him to access his bank accounts or get married to his fiancee, CBC News reported.

"After several weeks of intervention by government officials on Mr. Fahmy's behalf, we are now in a position to issue Mr. Fahmy's passport despite ongoing legal issues and travel restrictions," Kevin Menard, spokesman for the Canadian citizenship and immigration minister, told Reuters in an email.

On Twitter Fahmy expressed his excitement over the news, saying the passport meant "wedding bells for me and my fiancee." He added, "The battle for freedom continues."

Fahmy was released on bail in February after spending over a year in custody, as one of three Al Jazeera journalists who were detained in Egypt facing charges of spreading lies to help a "terrorist organization."

Originally sentenced to seven to ten years in prison, the high court ordered a retrial in January. 


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