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Mon 11 May 2015 06:45 PM

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Al Jazeera journalist sues Qatar broadcaster for $100m

Mohamed Fahmy, on trial in Egypt, has filed lawsuit accusing Al Jazeera of negligence, says lawyer

Al Jazeera journalist sues Qatar broadcaster for $100m
Qatar-based Al-Jazeera English journalist Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy arrives at the court in Cairo for his retrial. (AFP/Getty Images)

An Al Jazeera television journalist on trial in Egypt has filed a lawsuit in a Canadian court accusing his employer of negligence and has demanded $100 million in compensation, his lawyer said on Monday.

Mohamed Fahmy, who spent more than 400 days in a Cairo jail on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation, suggested Al Jazeera's actions landed him in jail. Al Jazeera had no immediate comment.

Fahmy and another Al Jazeera journalist, Baher Mohamed, were originally sentenced to seven to 10 years in prison on charges that included spreading lies to help a "terrorist organisation", a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Peter Greste, an Australian colleague who was sentenced with them, was freed and deported earlier this year. All three denied the charges. In January, a court ordered a retrial, citing procedural flaws.

Fahmy is a naturalised Canadian who gave up his Egyptian citizenship.

At a news conference in Cairo, Fahmy's lawyer, Joanna Gialason, said the lawsuit asks the court to declare Al Jazeera negligent in its conduct towards Fahmy. It says the network should pay $100 million in punitive and remedial damages for its role in Fahmy's conviction and subsequent imprisonment.

President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi's human rights record has come under scrutiny since he, as army chief, toppled the Islamist Mohamed Mursi as President in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

A crackdown launched thereafter resulted in hundreds killed and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members put in jail.

Sisi has said that he wished the Al Jazeera journalists had been deported and not put on trial. 

issam saqer 4 years ago

Mohammed Fahmy is a joke. He was paid to cover news and now he is crying loud after all the support that his ex employer has done to secure his release.

#tamweeltower#torchtower 4 years ago

Why would you call him "a joke"? Do you think that serving time in prison WITHOUT fair trial OR hard evidence and really no apparent reason is a joke? He will never get those years back and he is scarred for life.
I think you are the joke to be frank since what you are writing doesn't make any sense whatsoever "he was paid to cover news and now...." so what you are saying is basically because he was paid to do a job it is ok to be put in prison without any further rights?!?!? what do you really know what happened; maybe the lawyers actually found a set of events that the employer can be held responsible for and that under applicable law justifies such a demand?

Salih Hussain 4 years ago

You are right, he has been paid to do his duty, whether his duty to tell lies or not, he has accepted and been paid to do it. If he is an ethical person, he should've refused to accept the mission from the beginning. We all know what Aljazeera and Al-Arabia news channel's role in the region, like any other news channels in the world, they have their own political agenda, which MUST be in line with the political agenda of their own country, and they can utilise "Mohammad Fahmy' and others to implement this agenda in the region. Therefore, for "Mohammad Fahmy", if he is a "genuine generalist" which I doubt, he should've known that before he's accepted this mission. Otherwise, he is NOT a journalist, but an opportunistic person and he should go back to prison because he's deceived the public opinion willingly.