After the Arab Spring: The State of Freedom of Expression
Mohamed Fahmy, International Bureau Chief, Al Jazeera English (2013-14)
Chair: Dr Neil Quilliam, Acting Head of Middle East & North Africa Programme, Chatham House
Following his release from prison and a presidential pardon in September this year, Mohamed Fahmy will come to Chatham House to discuss the state of the freedom of expression afforded to the media and political parties across the Arab world, five years after the start of the Arab Spring.
In December 2013, Fahmy and two other Al Jazeera English journalists were arrested by Egyptian authorities accused of operating without proper licenses, being members of a terrorist group and reporting false news ‘damaging to national security’. Despite widespread international condemnation of the trial, all three were found guilty and Fahmy was sentenced to seven years in a maximum security prison. He was freed on bail in January 2015 and retried in August where he was again found guilty and given a new three year sentence.
Nearly half a decade after the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi that began a wave of revolutionary protest that swept across the region, Fahmy will look at what those protests have actually achieved for the rights and freedoms of peoples living in post-Arab Spring countries.