[JURIST] Mohamed Fahmy, an Al Jazeera [media website, in Arabic] journalist and Canadian national, announced plans on Monday to sue the network for negligence and seek USD $100 million in damages. Formerly a CNN journalist, Fahmy and two other Al Jazeera English journalists were convicted and sentenced by an Egyptian judge last year on charges of aiding terrorists and endangering national security for their roles in the coverage of the Muslim Brotherhood movement that eventually ousted then-president Mohamed Morsi [BBC reports]. Now facing retrial, Fahmy is suing Al Jazeera, alleging that the news organization was in fact a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, and this connection negligently led to Fahmy being detained.
Despite Egypt’s Court of Cassation overturning [JURIST report] the lower court decision in February, the prosecution and subsequent imprisonment of the Al Jazeera journalists by the Egyptian government has garnered widespread criticism from international governments and rights groups. In March fellow Al Jazeera journalist and Australian national Peter Greste was released [JURIST report] to Australia under a law allowing the deportation of foreign nationals to their home countries in such situations. In February UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed [JURIST report] the decision by Egyptian authorities to release on bail Fahmy and fellow defendant Baher Mohamed while they await retrial. The three men were initially arrested [JURIST report] in December 2013.