Journalist and Author Mohamed Fahmy Wins Freedom to Read Award

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

Toronto – The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is very proud to announce that Mohamed Fahmy, journalist and author, is the recipient of the 2016 Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually by TWUC in recognition of advocacy on behalf of free expression. Past recipients include John Ralston Saul, Patsy Aldana, Lawrence Hill and Ron Brown.

“The jury was unanimous in recommending Mr. Fahmy,” noted TWUC Chair Heather Menzies. “Not only has he written on the subject of freedom to speak and be heard, he has taken on the larger issues, including the necessary protections for people who are pursuing this freedom in dangerous situations, and has created a foundation to champion these important issues.”
Mohamed Fahmy was imprisoned in Egypt, sentenced to long-term incarceration for his work in covering the Arab Spring. Since his release, he lives and works in Vancouver where he launched the Fahmy Foundation with his wife and fellow advocate Marwa Omara. The Fahmy Foundation’s mandate is “to champion free speech and fight the suppression of the press.”
This week is Freedom to Read Week in Canada: a national annual celebration that encourages Canadians to think about and value their right to read, write and publish freely. Over the years, the week has become a regular feature of the annual programming of schools, libraries and literary groups across Canada. Freedom to Read Week is a project of the Book and Periodical Council. For more information, please visit


The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms and economic well-being of all writers.

For additional information:

John Degen, Executive Director
416.703.8982 ext. 221

Heather Menzies, Chair