CUPE BC’s Executive Board has endorsed award-winning Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy’s Protection Charter, which would enshrine in law the rights of Canadian citizens to be protected by the federal government from serious human rights violations in other countries.

“Mr. Fahmy spoke at our convention earlier this year, and delegates were visibly moved by the ordeal he endured while wrongfully imprisoned for more than a year in a maximum security prison in Egypt,” said CUPE BC President Paul Faoro. “I have written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging him to adopt Mr. Fahmy’s Charter, which would help ensure that no other Canadian be forced to repeat his experience.”

The Protection Charter was developed by Fahmy in conjunction with Amnesty International, following his pardon by the Egyptian government and his subsequent release and return to Canada. While Fahmy was imprisoned awaiting trial, the Canadian government of then-Prime Minister Stephen Harper declined to intervene on Fahmy’s behalf, leaving him to languish in prison alongside convicted jihadi fighters–despite his innocence.

“Defending the rights of Canadians abroad should never be an option for politicians,” said Faoro. “The Charter that Mr. Fahmy and Amnesty International have proposed would ensure that all Canadian citizens who require the support of their government overseas will get it when they need it, and not be subject to the partisan whims of politicians.”

You can read Fahmy’s Protection Charter here.