Al Jazeera journalists face Cairo re-trial on 12 February

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 09 February 2015

The re-trial of Al Jazeera journalists Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed will start on 12 February, 407 days after they were imprisoned in Egypt.

Al Jazeera's Cairo bureau chief Fahmy and producer Mohamed were sentenced to seven and ten years respectively in June 2014, on charges including aiding the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. After an appeal, the Cairo Court of Cassation finally ordered a retrial last month.

Their colleague, Al Jazeera reporter Peter Greste was deported to his native Australia on 1 February 2015 after a year in detention.

"Baher and Mohamed have been unjustly jailed for over a year, even though the entire world knows they are innocent. With a date now set for the re-trial the Egyptian authorities know exactly what to do - throw the entire case out and give Baher and Mohamed their freedom which has been denied to them for more than 400 days," said an Al Jazeera spokesman.

A decree issued by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi last November has paved the way for foreign prisoners, like Greste, to be deported.
Fahmy, who held dual Canadian and Egyptian citizenship, renounced his Egyptian nationality in recent days hoping to secure his own release.

"Mohamed [Fahmy] never requested that he drop his citizenship. The authorities visited him before the appeal hearing on 1 January and made a deal with him to renounce it in return for his freedom claiming this was the only way out for him and Peter. It was one of the most difficult decisions he has ever taken that has left him demoralised," Fahmy's family told Al Jazeera.

Canada's Minister of State, Lynne Yelich, said she was deeply concerned a "re-trial date has been set" and called for Fahmy's immediate release.

Fahmy's high-profile lawyer, Amal Clooney, has written to President Sisi saying she plans to visit Cairo to discuss the case.

Baher Mohamed is Egyptian, so deportation for him is not a consideration.

Al Jazeera is calling for the exoneration of all its journalists, and the convictions against its other staff tried in absentia to be lifted by the Egyptian authorities.