A Canadian journalist who spent almost two years jailed in Egypt said Friday that Egyptian authorities have restored the citizenship he renounced in order to win his release.
Mohamed Fahmy, a former Al-Jazeera journalist released last year after receiving a pardon from Egypt's president, was a dual citizen but renounced his Egyptian citizenship late in 2014 after being asked to do as a condition of his release. He says he never wanted to do that.
Fahmy was arrested in 2013 with two Al-Jazeera English colleagues. In a case that was widely condemned, he was sentenced to three years in prison in a retrial for airing what a court described as "false news" and coverage biased in favor of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Fahmy said he called government officials and they confirmed he has his citizenship back.
"I am thankful the mistake was corrected," he said. "I did not want to renounce it at the time but had no choice since I was incarcerated with a broken shoulder, watching my family suffer with illness and branded as a terrorist for a crime I did not commit. I am both a proud Egyptian and Canadian."
Fahmy said he will travel to Egypt in a couple of months to reclaim his passport and official documents and will "celebrate this victory."
"I hope to return to the field soon and continue working as a journalist," he said.