Al-Jazeera television journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy has initiated Supreme Court proceedings in Canada, demanding compensation of $US 100 million from the Doha-based network.
Fahmy, who spent more than 400 days in jail on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and spreading false news, accused Al-Jazeera of negligence during a press conference that was televised on Egypt’s ONTV.
During the press conference in Cairo, Joana Gialason, Fahmy’s lawyer, said the lawsuit is aimed at holding Al-Jazeera accountable for its negligence in its conduct towards Fahmy, who is a naturalized Canadian citizen. Al-Jazeera is accused of negligence that resulted in Fahmy’s initial conviction and imprisonment.
During the press conference, Fahmy accused Al-Jazeera Arabic’s coverage of supporting and promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, stating that “this is not journalism, it’s propaganda.”
The statements were made on live television with a large banner in the background that read “Journalism is Not Political Activism.”
Fahmy, who held a moment of silence for journalists killed, stated that his colleagues were endangered and harmed by Al-Jazeera Arabic’s “association” with the Muslim Brotherhood. Fahmy added that Al-Jazeera Arabic intended to harm Egyptian society and waged a campaign of violence against Egypt.
The Al-Jazeera journalist is expected to appear live on CBC on Monday evening in Egypt to further discuss details of his claim against Al-Jazeera.
Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed were sentenced to prison in 2014 on charges of supporting a terrorist organization by spreading of false information. The convictions were later overturned on appeal and a retrial was ordered.
Following his release on bail after more than 400 days in prison, Fahmy accused Al-Jazeera of waging a media war against Egypt.
“It is an infringement on freedom of speech to silence three innocent, recognised journalists,” Fahmy told the Associated Press. “Yet a very important aspect of this case is Qatar abusing its Al-Jazeera Arabic platform in waging a media war against Egypt.”