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Amal Clooney Calls On Egypt To Release Al Jazeera Journalist

Amal Clooney is part of a new legal team hired to represent Mohamed Fahmy, one of three Al Jazeera journalists who have spent more than 300 days behind bars in Egypt.

Posted on November 6, 2014, at 7:53 a.m. ET

Asmaa Waguih / Reuters

Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed, Peter Greste, and Mohammed Fahmy stand behind bars in a court in Cairo.

Amal Clooney has called on the Egyptian government to release the Al Jazeeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, calling the trial against him "fundamentally unfair and his imprisonment a travesty of justice."

Fahmy, along with Australian national Peter Greste and local producer Baher Mohamed, was arrested more than 300 days ago and sentenced in June to seven years in prison for aiding terrorists, doctoring footage and conspiring against the Egyptian State. All three have maintained their innocence, and argue that their imprisonment is part of a larger, ongoing feud between the Egyptian government and Qatar, which backs the Al Jazeera network.

On Thursday, Clooney released a statement co-authored by Mark Wassouf, a fellow lawyer at Doughty Street Chambers, that revealed Fahmy needed urgent medical treatment for hepatitis C and a shoulder injury that had worsened during his time in prison.

"Mr Fahmy's detention has become a great danger to his health," the statement said. "Mr Fahmy suffers from hepatitis C, a disease of the liver that can be terminal and that requires special treatment that Mr Fahmy cannot receive while he is in detention. He has also suffered a permanent disability in his right shoulder due to an injury exacerbated during his detention. He will require a series of complicated correctional bone surgeries that also require extensive recovery and support not readily available in prison."

The statement added that under "the Egyptian Code of Criminal Procedure the prosecutor is empowered to grant compassionate release on health grounds."

Clooney is no stranger to the Egyptian judiciary, having published a report citing the flaws in Egypt's legal system.

Fahmy's Twitter account confirmed that he had privately retained Clooney and her colleagues as his new legal counsel.

Lawyers Negad Al Borei,Amal Clooney,& @MarkWassouf represent @MFFahmy11 in his personal capacity and do not represent the Al Jazeera Network

Mohamed Fadel Fahmy@MFFahmy11Follow

Lawyers Negad Al Borei,Amal Clooney,& @MarkWassouf represent @MFFahmy11 in his personal capacity and do not represent the Al Jazeera Network

3:53 AM - 06 Nov 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Fahmy's friends and family have previously complained about the lawyers hired by Al Jazeera to represent the imprisoned journalist, and said that Al Jazeera executives have been unhelpful and occasionally caused damage to the case.

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