Canadian Al-Jazeera English journalist Mohamed Fahmy second left, and his Egyptian colleague Baher Mohammed, celebrate with their wives after being released from Torah prison in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015 (AP)
Mohamed Fahmy, a Canadian-Egyptian journalist and former manager of Al-Jazeera International in Cairo, regained his Egyptian nationality after his request for citizenship was approved by the interior minister on Wednesday, according to the state’s official gazette.
Fahmy, who held dual Canadian-Egyptian citizenship at the time, had renounced in February 2015 his Egyptian citizenship in an attempt to get deported in accordance with a December 2014 presidential decree that allowed state authorities to deport convicted foreigners.
Fahmy’s colleague and co-defendant, Australian journalist Peter Greste, was allowed in February 2015 to return home based on decree.
Fahmy was arrested in December 2013 along with Greste and Egyptian journalist Baher Mohamed in the aftermath of the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July of that year.
The trio stood trial for “publishing false news” and operating without a license, and were sentenced in June 2014 to three years in jail.
Egypt had accused the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera of biased coverage and incitement against the post-Morsi authorities.
Fahmy's case attracted international attention, prompting human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and other celebrities to ask the Egyptian authorities for a pardon.
In September 2015, Fahmy received a presidential pardon and left for Canada.
Fahmy and his co-defendant Baher Mohamed were among 100 prisoners released under the pardon.
Shortly after leaving Egypt, Fahmy filed a request with the interior ministry to regain his citizenship, arguing he was under exceptional pressure when he renounced his native nationality.