CAIRO — An Egyptian court has again postponed announcing the verdict in the case of Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and two other Al-Jazeera English journalists — this time to Aug. 29.
It was the latest of several postponements in the long-running legal saga that has been criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists, and a frustrated Fahmy reacted by tweeting "The audacity and continuous disrespect to our rights is unprecedented."
Fahmy, Australian journalist Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohammed were detained in December 2013 while working for the Doha-based Al-Jazeera network.
The three were initially sentenced to prison before Egypt's highest court ordered a retrial on charges alleging they were part of the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities have declared a terrorist organization, and airing falsified footage intended to damage Egypt's national security.
Egypt deported Greste in February, while Fahmy and Mohammed were later released on bail.
Fahmy's brother, Adel, told The Canadian Press from Cairo that this latest postponement of the verdict has added to the suffering of not only his brother, but the entire family.
"I know he's suffering very much, and not able to sleep well, or eat well. And now he has a teaching job at UBC in British Columbia starting in September and you know his whole life, and ours, has been crippled," he said.
Adel Fahmy said no official reason was given for the postponement — that the judge who usually presides over the case didn't show up today and that another judge came in and simply announced, without explanation, that the verdict had again been delayed.
Mohamed Fahmy's lawyer in Vancouver, Joanna Gislason, was clearly disappointed by the court's action, and also at a loss to explain it.
"It's hard to understand why everyone would have been dragged back to court today, when presumably this would have been known by the court. The lives of these men are hanging in the balance, and it's just torturous for them to have to wait in this way," she said.
Throughout the proceedings Fahmy has pointed out that his case had been complicated by politics in the Middle East, referring to himself as a "pawn" in a rift between Egypt and Qatar, which owns Al Jazeera.
Egypt and Qatar have had tense relations since 2013, when the Egyptian military ousted Morsi amid massive protests.
Qatar is a strong backer of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and Cairo accuses Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for Morsi's supporters — charges denied by the broadcaster.
The Canadian government has said it has raised Fahmy's case with Egyptian officials "at the highest level" and called for his immediate return to Canada ahead of Thursday's verdict.
Fahmy moved to Canada with his family in 1991, living in Montreal and Vancouver for years before eventually moving abroad for work, which included covering stories for the New York Times and CNN.
Also on HuffPost