Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy thanks supporters in Toronto following his release from an Egyptian prison. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who was released from prison in Egypt last month after a presidential pardon, thanked his supporters in Toronto on Tuesday (October 13). "If you ever doubt that these campaigns makes a difference, I'm living proof that they do," he said at a news conference with his lawyers and wife, Marwa, by his side. "People always ask, who's going to take credit for it? Well, every single person, every single tweet, every single organization that put out a statement, and the lawyers and the armies of diplomats. At the end it was a collective effort that resulted in this pardon." Fahmy was released on bail in February after spending more than a year in custody. He went back to prison in August after a retrial. Three Al Jazeera journalists - Canadian Fahmy, Egyptian Baher Mohamed and Australian Peter Greste - were sentenced to three years in prison in the August retrial for operating without a press license and broadcasting material harmful to Egypt. Greste had already been deported in February. During the news conference, Fahmy criticized Prime Minister Stephen Harper for not doing more to get him back to Canada. "While you here, citizens in Canada and around the world clearly understood the urgency of the situation we faced in prison in Egypt, the Harper government did not," he told reporters, adding that Harper, who is in the midst of a re-election campaign, had delegated his case to lower-ranking government officials. "There are no words to describe how it feels when you are wrongfully convicted and sitting in a cold cell infested with insects nurturing a broken shoulder. But when you're there, your only hope is that your prime minister will do everything in his power to get you out of there," Fahmy said. A senior government official has said that Harper did speak with Egypt's president and sent several letters advocating for Fahmy. Fahmy, Mohamed and Greste were among 100 prisoners unexpectedly pardoned last month.