Toronto Public Library Congratulates Mohamed Fahmy, Recipient of the 2016 Freedom to Read Award

February 22, 2016 | Media Relations

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Toronto Public Library congratulates Mohamed Fahmy, recipient of The Writers’ Union of Canada 2016 Freedom to Read Award. The award is presented annually in recognition of advocacy on behalf of free expression.

Mohamed Fahmy, award-winning Egyptian-Canadian journalist and author, was imprisoned in Egypt, sentenced to long-term incarceration for his work in covering the Arab Spring. He was released from prison last fall.

Toronto Public Library welcomed Fahmy to the Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library in November 2015 for a sold-out talk. The event featured Fahmy in conversation with Toronto Star’s National Security reporter Michelle Shephard and was presented in partnership with The Canadian Journalism Foundation.

The Library celebrates intellectual freedom, one of its core values, during Freedom to Read Week.

“Toronto is one of the most multicultural cities in the world. At the library, we reflect this diversity of cultures, viewpoints and beliefs in the 10+ million items we carry in our collection, and in the programs and services we offer. Intellectual freedom is a core value of the library profession, and a basic right in our democratic society,” said Vickery Bowles, Toronto Public Library City Librarian. “We applaud Mohamed Fahmy for his unwavering commitment to this value, and The Writers' Union of Canada for recognizing his immense contribution.”

Related links:

Freedom To Read Week

TPL Freedom to Read Programs  


Toronto Public Library is one of the world's busiest urban public library systems. Every year, 19 million people visit our branches in neighbourhoods across the city and borrow 32 million items. To learn more about Toronto Public Library, visit or call Answerline at 416-393-7131. To get the most current updates on what's happening at the library, follow us on Twitter @torontolibrary.

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Ana-Maria Critchley