Cairo, Dec. 29 (Aswat Masriya) – On Tuesday Mohamed Fahmy, who was recently released from jail in Egypt after his involvement in the Al Jazeera case, sent an official request to Egypt’s foreign ministry asking that he be given back his Egyptian nationality.
Fahmy renounced the Egyptian citizenship in February and kept his Canadian citizenship after he and his two colleagues, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed, were sentenced to three years in maximum-security prison on charges of defaming Egypt and spreading false news.
Fahmy, who was an Al Jazeera producer at the time of his arrest, was one of the defendants along with Australian journalist Greste and Egyptian journalist Mohamed. The three journalists were arrested inside the Marriott hotel in December 2013.
They were initially sentenced in June 2014 and spent no less than 400 days in prison before their separate release in February 2015.
Greste was released and deported on account of a presidential decree allowing foreign defendants and convicts to be deported "whenever the [state's] supreme interest necessitates so."
Fahmy revoked his Egyptian nationality in hopes of benefiting from the same decree. Fahmy and Mohamed, who holds only Egyptian nationality, were freed by court order on February 12.
The defendants' prison sentences were widely condemned internationally and were a major catalyst for scrutinizing press freedoms in Egypt.
On December 22, Al Jazeera suspended the broadcast of its Egyptian channel, Jazeera Mubasher Misr, two days after Egypt and Qatar "responded" to the late Saudi monarch's invitation "to consolidate relations ".
The suspension will last until the "circumstances are appropriate" for return, the channel said. It added that it is seeking the necessary permits for broadcasting in Egypt in coordination with authorities.
A version of this article was originally published in Aswat Masriya.