Falsely accused reporter coming to Kelowna to speak

Mohamed Fahmy spend two years in an Egyptian jail accused of being a terrorist

Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy addresses a news conference hosted by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression while his wife Marwa Omara looks on at Ryerson University in Toronto in 2015. —Image: The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn

Mohamed Fahmy, an Egyptian-born Canadian journalist, jailed in Egypt for two years on false terrorism charges, will speak about his experience next week in Kelowna.

Fahmy will be part of a panel discussion, sharing his experiences and talking about the growing threat to a free press and how social media is reshaping reality March 5 at UBC Okanagan. Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr, a vocal advocate for Fahmy’s release, will also be on the panel and CBC Radio’s Sarah Penton will moderate.

The event, co-presented by UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences is free and open to the public. Pay parking will be in effect.

Free registration is at fahmy.eventbrite.ca.

Fahmy is an award-winning journalist and author who spent almost two years in an Egyptian prison, alongside hardened extremists. His ordeal led to an international effort to secure his release, and the lengthy legal struggle made headlines around the world.

Fahmy wrote for the Los Angeles Times and covered the Iraq War in 2003, later working extensively in the Middle East covering events like the Arab Spring for CNN. In September 2013, he accepted a new post as the Al Jazeera English Bureau Chief based in Egypt. Just four months later he was arrested and jailed on false terrorism charges for 438 days.

He was given a full pardon and released in September 2015.

The UBCO event will take place in ballroom of the University Centre on Kelowna campus starting at 4:30 p.m.

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