Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Journalist Convicted in Egypt in Hospital for Arm Surgery

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canadian Journalist Convicted in Egypt in Hospital for Arm Surgery

Article excerpt

Cdn journalist convicted in Egypt in hospital

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The family of an Egyptian-Canadian journalist sentenced to seven years in prison by a Cairo court says he has been sent to hospital in advance of surgery for a long-standing arm injury.

Mohamed Fahmy's brother Adel says he was admitted Saturday for tests and other preparations for an operation on his upper arm.

He says the journalist with TV network Al-Jazeera English suffered from a fractured arm shortly before being arrested with two colleagues in late December, and his family have long been concerned the injury wasn't being properly treated during his detention.

Verdicts were handed down last week to Fahmy and the two other broadcasters, a result that stunned observers and has sparked concern from Ottawa.

In a trial widely denounced by media advocates and human rights groups, the three were convicted of giving support to the Muslim Brotherhood -- which Egypt labels a terrorist group -- and compromising the country's national security.

The journalists repeatedly denied all the allegations against them and contended they were just doing their jobs.

Adel Fahmy said it was a "miracle" and took a lot of paperwork for Fahmy to finally get care for his right arm, but added that the lengthy delay in getting a diagnosis and the harsh prison conditions meant the state of the limb "worsened drastically" to the point of being permanently disabled.

"He was handcuffed for long periods, plus the first month and a half he was in the maximum security, solitary-confinement prison where he was sleeping on a concrete floor. All of this contributed to the injury becoming chronic," he told The Canadian Press in an interview from Cairo.

"If that wasn't punishment enough, then the (court) sentence on top of all of that?"

"It will never be fully functional again. He has a restricted range of motion, he has considerable pain," he said. …

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