This morning we learned that an Egyptian court – a kangaroo court, if ever there was one – after what can only be characterized as a farce of a trial, had convicted Mohammed Fahmy, an Egyptian-Canadian Al-Jazeera reporter, on “terrorism-related” charges and sentenced him to 7 years in prison. That the conviction was preordained is undeniable. This can probably be taken for granted anywhere in the Arab world, but even by the low standards of the region, this trial was a joke. Apparently, Egypt defines “terrorism” as saying unflattering, if accurate, things about its shit-hole government (that the current shit-hole government isn’t much worse (or better) than its predecessor shit-hole government, is really neither here nor there). Still, Mr. Fahmy’s conviction in itself, isn’t all that interesting – after all, did anyone really expect a fair trial?
What’s more interesting has been the response of some of Mr. Fahmy’s family and supporters, who have been harshly critical of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Fahmy’s brother’s, Sherif, tweeted Stephen Harper:
I hold you responsible for leaving my brother to rotten in Egyptian prison. Was a call or a public statement that difficult?
Or Tony Burman, columnist for the Toronto Star who said:
The absence of the highest level of intervention, on behalf of the Canadian government has been lamentable. But, there is a chance for reversal…It’s now time for Canada’s prime minister to indicate to Egypt that enough is enough.
More in this vein can be seen here.