Mohamed Fahmy, Al Jazeera’s English Journalist has sued his network over alleged negligence and breach of contract, seeking $100 million in punitive and remedial damages.
Fahmy alongside his attorneys, Joanna Gislason and Gary Caroline had announced this on Monday, May 11, 2015.
Fahmy’s lawyers, revealed at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt that they filed the lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.
Fahmy who happens to be a mixed breed, Egyptian-Canadian, had been kept in custody with two other Al Jazeera journalists for more 400 days in Egypt after they were charged with aiding a terrorist organisation.
They were then convicted and sentenced to imprisonment but an Appeal court in Egypt ordered a retrial and ruled that the journalists be released on bail earlier this year.
Fahmy said Al Jazeera did not pay for his legal fees in full after he sought a lawyer different from the ones the network had hired, a claim Al jazeera has denied.
His attorney stated: “Mohamed Fahmy is a professional journalist. He understands that there are risks of going into the field. That’s not what we are talking about here.
“Not only did Al Jazeera fail to protect these journalists, it itself imperiled them. Al Jazeera itself contributed to the harm that they suffered. It put them in harm’s way,”
Al Jazeera English did not respond to requests for comment on Fahmy’s lawsuit on claims he and his attorneys made at the news conference in Cairo.
Throughout his imprisonment, Fahmy had described the case as politicized and part of a feud between Egypt and Qatar, which owns the Doha-based network.
Fahmy explained that on Monday, stating that during his imprisonment, he learned that the network had been supplying cameras to Muslim Brotherhood members and sympathizers and using their footage without sourcing.
“This is not journalism, this is propaganda,” Fahmy said.
His new Egyptian legal counselor, Mohamed Hamouda, also spoke at the news conference in Cairo and he underscored what Fahmy’s team sees as the political aspects of the case.
“From the viewpoint of (those who) who fought the Muslim Brotherhood … and the terrorism that we saw in our Egypt on their hands and their attempted religious dictatorship, the Al Jazeera channel was (the) right and left hand of the (Muslim Brotherhood) group,” Hamouda told reporters. “Al Jazeera has always been the arm moving the extremist operations and the coup operations — not in the pursuit of democracy as you Westerners want but in the pursuit of regional dominance for a small state.”
Fahmy added: “A lot of the research I’ve done in prison and since I’ve been out of prison has really added a lot of what I’m saying today in terms of clearly stating that Al Jazeera Mubashir is not just biased; they are sponsors of the Muslim Brotherhood.”