The Marriott Cell: How I got through my deepest, darkest moments in Egypt's notorious Scorpion prison

Egyptian-born Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy has published a book about being jailed for collaborating with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The Marriott Cell recounts the story of how he and his Al Jazeera colleagues were branded terrorists and spent more than a year behind bars before he was pardoned by President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi. The case grabbed headlines around the world and marked a key point in Egypt’s changing relationship with press freedom. This week’s African Media spoke to Mohamed Fahmy about his time in a notorious Cairo prison, how he had access to some of the world’s most dangerous terrorists and the message he would send to other journalists currently languishing in Egyptian jails. Can you tell us about your book?It basically includes details of my case and how I spent 438 days incarcerated in Egypt and branded as a terrorist while I was only doing my job as a journalist for Al Jazeera. It was interesting to write because it includes interviews with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS [the Islamic State armed group] fighters and Al Qaeda fighters that I conducted and gathered inside prison. It also includes the battle for freedom - what we did to get out of prison - dealing with the courts, the judges, the lawyers. How this fight was complicated and wasn't just an issue of press freedom but also a geopolitical battle between Egypt and Qatar, the owner of Al Jazeera. I also highlight a lot of the mistakes that the ...
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