Jazeera reporter gives up Egyptian citizenship in bid for release

AFP , Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Feb 2015

Egyptian-Canadian Al Jazeera English reporter Mohamed Fahmy was sentenced to 7 years in prison on charges of aiding a terrorist group

Mohammed Fahmy, Canadian-Egyptian acting bureau chief of Al-Jazeera, appears in a defendant's cage along with several other defendants (Photo: AP)

Jailed Al Jazeera reporter Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian national, has given up his Egyptian citizenship, paving the way for his release and deportation under a recent presidential decree.

The Egyptian official gazette, which publishes new constitutional or legislative documents in Egypt, confirmed Fahmy is now holding the Canadian citizenship only.

The move comes after Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said late on Monday that Fahmy's release was "imminent", following the freeing on Sunday of his Australian colleague Peter Greste.

The two men were arrested in December 2013 along with Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, and later sentenced to up to 10 years in prison on charges of aiding the blacklisted Muslim Brotherhood.

"His signed the papers more than a week ago" renouncing his citizenship, a relative of Fahmy told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Ahram Online have tried to contact Fahmi`s brother Adel and lawyer Negad El-Borai to verify the news. Both declined to comment.

On Sunday, the Egyptian government deported Australian Journalist Peter Greste after spending more than 400 days in the Egypt`s jail on charges that include aiding a terrorist group.  

The Egyptian authorities issued the deportation order according to a law passed in late 2014 that allows foreign convicts to be transferred to their country to either be retried or serve their sentence.

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