April 20, 2015 / 10:39 PM / 4 years ago

Canada to issue passport to jailed Al Jazeera journalist Fahmy

Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy is seen outside of a court before a hearing in his trial in Cairo, February 23, 2015. REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government said on Monday it is now able to issue a passport to Mohamed Fahmy, the Al Jazeera journalist and naturalized Canadian who had been jailed in Egypt and is awaiting retrial there.

“After several weeks of intervention by government officials on Mr. Fahmy’s behalf, we are now in a position to issue Mr. Fahmy’s a passport despite ongoing legal issues and travel restrictions,” Kevin Menard, a spokesman for Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, said in an e-mail.

Fahmy, who has given up his Egyptian citizenship, was released on bail in February after spending more than a year in custody.

He and another Al Jazeera journalist were originally sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison on charges including spreading lies to help a “terrorist organization, which they have denied. Egypt’s high court in January ordered a retrial.

The Canadian government in February welcomed the decision to release Fahmy on bail but said the prospect of him standing retrial was “unacceptable.”

Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson and Leah Schnurr; Editing by Leslie Adler

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