Fahmy, Amnesty call for ‘charter’ to protect Canadians jailed overseas

Now free from the Egyptian prison that held him for more than a year, Fahmy hopes the feds will defend others like him

OTTAWA – Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy is leading the call for a new law that would lay out how Canadian politicians and bureaucrats should proceed when citizens are detained overseas.

Fahmy, Amnesty International and other civil society groups want to see a protection charter that would give transparency to a process that appears to be applied unequally and unevenly around the world.

Fahmy was freed from an Egyptian prison last fall after spending more than a year behind bars on terrorism charges following a court case that was the subject of broad international criticism.

He says in an era where many countries are rolling out security laws that lead to human rights violations, it is more important than ever for Canada to have clear standards on how it will assist its citizens.

In addition to a law enshrining the right to consular assistance, the charter calls for more protection for Canadian journalists abroad, consistent support for death penalty clemency and more oversight of national security agencies.

Fahmy met today with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion to discuss the charter and says he has high hopes for the new Liberal government’s approach to diplomacy.

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