A testy exchange at a House of Commons Committee hearing between Official Opposition MP Paul Dewar and Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson on Thursday (April 2) failed to clarify why the Canadian government is refusing to issue a passport to Canadian Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Out on bail in Egypt on widely denounced terror charges, Fahmy says that without official identification he can’t rent a car or an apartment and is prevented from marrying his fiancee.
The organisation Canadian Journalists for Free Expression sent a letter of concern Thursday to Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson, and the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular Services) Lynn Yelich which in part said:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada stated in a letter to Fahmy that he cannot be issued a new passport until “the court signals definitively that one is required, that [his] existing passport is, in fact, missing and…the court-imposed travel restrictions against [him] are lifted.” Considering that the judge in Fahmy’s case has repeatedly urged the Canadian Embassy to issue a new passport, and Fahmy filed a police report last week to confirm that the passport is missing, the government’s stubborn refusal to issue the document is both puzzling and disturbing.
RCI’s Wojtek Gwiazda has a report and audio of the exchange between the Official Opposition NDP party’s Paul Dewar and Foreign Affairs Minister rob Nicholson.Listen
CBC News – Mohamed Fahmy shocked at Ottawa’s refusal to issue passport – here
Toronto Sun/QMI Agency – Canadian government refuses Fahmy’s passport application – here
CTV News – Fahmy shocked at Ottawa’s refusal to issue passport due to travel ban – here
Globe and Mail – Fahmy shocked at Ottawa’s refusal to issue passport – here
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression letter – Troubled by Canadian government’s refusal to issue Mohamed Fahmy a passport – here