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Detained Egyptian Al-Jazeera journalist talks wife out of nationality changing attempt

Wife of detained Egyptian journalist Baher Mohamed also says she has no intention to resort to protest action

Marina Barsoum , Sunday 8 Feb 2015
Baher Mohamed
Baher Mohamed (Photo: AP)
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Baher Mohamed, the Egyptian Al-Jazeera journalist who is set to remain behind bars after the release of his colleagues, will not give up his Egyptian nationality in an attempt to be freed as he believes in the integrity of the Egyptian judiciary, his wife said.

"Before my last visit to Baher, I was very enraged by the fact that Peter (Greste) was being deported and the news about (Mohamed) Fahmy being released for having another nationality, so I have spoken about the possibility of looking for another nationality for my husband," Gihan Mohamed told Ahram Online.

Australian Journalist Greste, one of the Al-Jazeera jailed journalists, was released and deported according to a law passed by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi authorising non-Egyptian defendants on trial or convicts to be sent to their home countries to be tried or serve their sentences. 

The third jailed Al-Jazeera reporter Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian national, has recently given up his Egyptian citizenship, paving the way for his release and deportation under the same law that saw Greste released.

Gihan stressed that her husband Baher, during her last visit to see him, made it clear that he will never give up his Egyptian nationality as he believes that he did nothing wrong.

"The deportation of Gretse is a definite sign of the innocence of the three journalists; we will wait for the trial proceedings," said Gihan.

She then expressed her anger by saying "What upsets me the most is that my husband has to wait for the results of another trial. This is unjust for us as Egyptian citizens."

Unlike many reports, young wife and mother Gihan underlined that she will not protest or sit-in against the detention of her husband, saying "I believe that the law will be on our side at the end." 

The first retrial session for the Al-Jazeera journalists will be held on February 12, judicial sources said on Sunday.

The trial of the Al-Jazeera journalists sparked an international outcry.

The three journalists were detained for more than 400 days pending a trial on charges that include aiding a terrorist group.

They were arrested in December 2013 and later sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on charges of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi hails. 

In January 2014, the Court of Cassation accepted the appeal filed against the sentence.

The Al-Jazeera case is believed to have stemmed from strained ties between Cairo and Doha, which funds the Doha-based media organisation and was one of the main supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo has accused Al-Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for the now-outlawed Brotherhood, charges the channel denies.

A recent thaw in ties between Cairo and Doha offered fresh hope over the fate of the three journalists.

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