The al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who is awaiting retrial after more than a year in an Egyptian prison, has accused the network of “epic negligence” and said it was partially to blame for his arrest and imprisonment.
Fahmy called it naive and misleading to see the case purely as a crackdown on press freedom because Qatar, which funds the al-Jazeera network, used it to “wage a media war” against Cairo.
Fahmy, who had both Egyptian and Canadian nationality before giving up his Egyptian passport in an attempt to speed up his deportation in December, and Baher Mohamed, an Egyptian, are due back in court next week following the release of their Australian colleague, Peter Greste, earlier this month. The three al-Jazeera English (AJE) employees were jailed last June on trumped-up charges of helping terrorists and spreading false news.
Fahmy’s comments follow several attempts to present his case in a more favourable light to the Cairo establishment in recent months, including an opinion piece in Egypt’s leading private broadsheet that expressed his support for the army’s overthrow of ex-president Mohamed Morsi.