Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian injustice and Canada’s spineless response: Neil Macdonald

Good overview piece on Ottawa’s reaction to Mohammed Fahmy’s sentence.

Does seem a bit out of step with the normal language and rhetoric out of the Government, and particularly out of step with the US, UK and Australia:

The government of Canada, on the day that one of its citizens was sentenced to a long prison term in Egypt for the crime of committing journalism, was moved to note that Egyptians are, after all, “progressing toward democracy.”

And, added our prime minister’s parliamentary secretary, “We don’t want to insult them.”Because, you know, that would just be rude.

Instead, the government in Ottawa, which runs around the world, chin out and elbows up, lecturing other governments about respecting human rights and democratic self-determination, prefers soft-spoken diplomacy toward the regime in Cairo….

It’s probably best, the Harper government has apparently concluded, to remain largely silent as a journalist who carries a Canadian passport is sent off to some hellishly violent Egyptian prison for doing his job.

Best to have cabinet members avoid cameras on this sensitive and unsettling day, instead sending out Harper’s parliamentary secretary, Paul Callandra, to advise against giving any insult to Cairo.

Technically speaking, this foreign conviction could trigger revocation (the Government refused an amendment to the Citizenship Act requiring an explicit test of equivalence in judicial processes), although unlikely the Government would do so.

Mohamed Fahmy, Egyptian injustice and Canada’s spineless response: Neil Macdonald – World – CBC News.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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