Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

#FREEKQ Statement - Hon. Minister Stéphane Dion welcomes Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Ahmad Attia

Ottawa: Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz were welcomed by the Honorable Minister Stéphane Dion and his team this week in his office at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They thanked Minister Dion for the diplomatic leadership he showed to bring the family home. They discussed the impact of his intervention and that by reuniting their four young children with their father in Canada, he has reestablished their sense of family, security, happiness, and has given them a new start. Khaled and Sarah also recognized MP and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra's dedication, and that of his staff, to bring this case to an end.

Tuesday October 18, Ottawa, Ontario

Tuesday October 18, Ottawa, Ontario

The family also shared with the Minister the progress of their new foundation, the Al-Qazzaz Foundation for Education and Development, where they hope to give back to Canada and the world. The foundation will focus on delivering  services and support to disadvantaged communities through innovative online technologies and will launch its first project for Syrian Refugees who have arrived in Canada. By offering cultural awareness, English language services, and mental health support, Sarah and Khaled hope to contribute to the great work the Canadian government started one year ago.

The couple were also welcomed at Parliament Hill by Members of Parliament Arnold Chan, Gary Anandasangaree, Hélène Laverdière and Hon. Senators Mobina Jaffer, Salma Ataullahjan, and Anne Cools who worked very hard to reunite them. The family is grateful to officials across all party lines who intervened to reunite the family and bring Khaled home.

The trip was completed by visits to human rights activists including ICLMG National Coordinator Monia Mazigh, Rideau Institute's Peggy Mason and Gar Pardy, CJFE's Duncan Pike, human rights lawyer Paul Champ, child rights advocate Tara Collins, Amnesty Canada Director Alex Neve and others.

The family expresses their gratitude to all Canadians, human rights activists, journalist, and government officials who dedicated their time and effort to resolving ordeals of Canadian families abroad.

FREEKQ Campaign Statement: Khaled Al-Qazzaz Reunited with his Family in Canada

Kayria Taghdi

We are pleased to announce that Khaled Al-Qazzaz has arrived home and is now reunited with his wife Sarah Atta and their four children AbdelRahman, Amena, Fatema and Tahrir.

Khaled’s return home was an outcome of the persistence of thousands of Canadians, human rights groups, the Canadian government and the Honourable Minister Dion who played an important role in resolving the ordeal. Egyptian Authorities permitted Khaled to come home to his family on medical and humanitarian grounds.

After three years Khaled and Sarah need time to recover from this ordeal. Khaled is getting the necessary medical care he needs. Khaled and Sarah are focused on rebuilding their lives and re-establishing themselves in the field of education which has been their passion for years since they graduated from University of Toronto.

We would not have been able to get this far if it was not for all the campaign volunteers, supporters, human rights activists, members of parliament, and Canadian officials.

Thank you to everyone who never gave up.

1015 Days | Press Release: Human Rights Groups Urge the Canadian Government to bring Al-Qazzaz Family Home

Kayria Taghdi

Human Rights Groups Urge the Canadian Government to bring Al-Qazzaz Family Home

 

Ottawa, April 12th 2016

 

Today, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International and Children’s Rights Expert and Assistant Professor Tara Collins of Ryerson University held a press conference in Parliament Hill to call on the Honourable Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of four Canadian children.

On March 7th 2016, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Amnesty International, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, Code Pink, Homes Not Bombs, The Group of 78, The Rideau Institute, Toronto Action for Social Change, and UNIFOR sent a letter to the Honourable Prime Minister in his capacity of Minister of Youth to intervene on behalf of the four Canadian children.

 

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

 

"We appeal to you in your capacity as Minister of Youth. This case involves four innocent Canadian children aged 3, 5, 7 and 9 whose safety is at risk. These children need to heal from the trauma they have endured when their father, Khaled Al-Qazzaz, was taken away from them and held for 558 days solitary confinement,” said the joint letter.

“The Al-Qazzaz family is loved by thousands of Canadians who have actively advocated for them to return home to Canada during the last two years through rallies, post cards, petitions, letter, emails and phone calls.“

 

Press Conference Video

 

Monia Mazigh, National Coordinator of the ICLMG:

“So far, we didn’t receive any reply. This is unacceptable. The fate of four Canadian children as well as their mother’s and dad’s are in the hands of the Canadian government and the government is not responding!”

“Today this family faces a huge dilemma. They have to choose between bad and worse. They have to choose between staying in Egypt together or may be coming to Canada and be separated.”

“Fortunately, there is a third choice: Canada’s intervention. Canada using its new ‘Responsible Conviction’ principle to show Canadians and the world, that we act responsibly when tragedy like this one happens. We act responsibly, swiftly and with strong conviction so that human rights are respected.”

 

Alex Neve, General Secretary of Amnesty International Canada:

“Khaled AL-Qazzaz, Sarah Attia and their four young children have been trapped in a frightening and confusing labyrinth of human rights violations, injustice, secrecy and fear in Egypt for nearly three years now.”

“He needs to be sure that the Canadian government is sparing no effort to resolve his case and bring him home. His wife, Sarah Attia, and their four young children all Canadian citizens are suffering alongside their husband and father. His fear is their fear, his suffering is their suffering, and his inability to leave Egypt stands in the way of their return to Canada as well. The Canadian government must intervene actively on their behalf to insist their rights are fully protected including their freedom of movement and their rights to family life.”

“This has to end! And that requires strong action from the Canadian government at senior levels including from foreign affairs Minister Stephane Dion insisting that this family be allowed to return to home to Canada.”

 

Tara Collins, Children’s Rights Expert and Assistant Professor:

“Four of these children need to be remembered in this situation. They are living a life of instability and fear not knowing what is going to happen to their father with imminent risk of future harm as well as the fact that their family could be torn apart again. It is incredibly important that the Government of Canada respond appropriately to the provisions of international law and specifically the convention on the rights of the child to think and act and respond to the children's best interest.”

“I urge the government of Canada to pay attention to the images of these four children and respond to them. They need their parents. They need the peace and security that Canada can offer.”

 

Ahmad Attia, family member:

“I could never imagine that one day our family, who has given so much to our country, would find ourselves in many ways abandoned by our government. While the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt has worked relentlessly to resolve this, here in Ottawa little has been done escalate the matter.”

“The Canadian government has asked us to bring Sarah and the children home, leaving Khaled behind. But I cannot comprehend the impact on the children when they are split from their father again - not knowing when and if Khaled will ever be able to join them. The Canadian Government has a moral and legal responsibility to protect the rights of these children and facilitate their safe return with their father. “

“I have been urging the Canadian government to intervene for months to end this ordeal but to no avail. Today I am holding the Canadian government responsible for their safety. There are no legal barriers - Khaled did not commit any crime and was never charged. The resolution boils down to political will.”

 

The joint letter by human rights groups concluded with a final ask to the Prime Minister:

“Canadians are waiting for you to bring a resolution to this problem. Prime Minister, on behalf of thousands of Canadians across the country whose hearts have been touched by the family, we implore you to everything in your power to help end this ordeal and bring this family home."

Please more information visit:

http://www.freekq.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_al-Qazzaz

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

Twitter: @FreeKhaledAQ

 

FREEKQ - 947 Days - One Year has Passed Since Canadian Sarah Attia left Canada to Bring her Husband Home

Ahmad Attia

947 Days

One Year has Passed Since Canadian Sarah Attia left Canada
to Bring her Husband Home

Just over a year ago, Canadian permanent-resident, Khaled Al-Qazzaz was released from an Egyptian prison after the Egyptian Attorney General ordered his immediate release. Khaled was arbitrarily detained in solitary confinement under inhumane conditions for 558 days without ever being charged or informed of the reasons of his detainment. His Canadian wife Sarah Attia, their four children and thousands of Canadians campaigned for over a year and a half to secure his release. Supporters remained persistent in advocating for Khaled’s release. The United Nations, the European Union and many governments intervened for Khaled’s freedom. The former Canadian government actively took ministerial level action to help reunite this family.

 

Due to Khaled’s medical conditions, exactly one year ago, Sarah booked a two-way flight to Egypt to accompany her husband home.  Sarah and the children travelled to Egypt in hopes to bring Khaled home and to get him immediate medical attention. Campaign volunteers and supporters planned a large welcome home party for the family as their imminent return was expected two weeks later.

Khaled’s release still remains one step shy of true freedom. For a year Sarah, Khaled and their children have been dealing with one proverbial roadblock after another. Today they remain stranded in Egypt because the Egyptian Government has placed an arbitrary travel ban on Khaled.

Egyptian authorities have restricted Sarah over time including preventing her from travelling in the airport twice, confiscation of her limited funds, freezing her personal bank accounts and visa complications. Most of these restrictions still remain until today.

Through the lengthy #cndpoli election the family remained patient for months without any Canadian government action. New hope was found with the new government taking office but unfortunately their situation has lost the political momentum that existed prior to the elections.

Supporters and family members have been meeting Members of Parliament on a weekly basis including several Ministers since November. Over a thousand letters have been sent to 140 MPs across the country. Senators and MPs have visited the Egyptian Ambassador to Canada. Political advocacy has continued for three months but to no avail.

Today Sarah, Khaled and their children remain in Egypt without any timeline or sign of change. Sarah has attempted to reach out to the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs but has not received a response. Many solutions have been considered and attempted but it has become clear to the family and supporters that unless the Prime Minister himself chooses to take action this Canadian #KQFamily’s hope of ever coming home diminishes with each day.

 

Latest Media

Protection charter hopefully triggers 'higher degree of intervention' for family stuck in Egypt

 

939 Days - Canadian Sarah Attia Joins Human Rights Organizations and Activists to Call On The Canadian Government to do more for Families of Prisoners Detained Abroad, Including her own

Ahmad Attia

Canadian citizen Sarah Attia spent over a year and a half fighting for her husband’s freedom. She has spent the last twelve  months, however, fighting for her entire family’s freedom. Sarah, her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz and their four Canadian children feel stranded in Egypt and cannot return until a travel ban placed on Khaled is removed.

Khaled has very strong ties to Canada. He first came to Canada in 2000 and completed his Masters of Applied Sciences degree at the University of Toronto. He was a community mobilizer who passionately worked for social causes.  He met and married Canadian born Sarah Attia. Khaled had nearly completed his citizenship requirements prior to moving to Egypt where he and Sarah worked on an educational project.The footprint he left behind in Canada resulted in thousands of Canadians advocating for his release and return home to Canada.

Sarah is a signatory to the "Protection Charter" released this week by Amnesty International and the Fahmy Foundation, which includes a list of principles meant to guide the Canadian government on how best to strengthen and improve its protections of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those with close Canadian connections. The #KQFamily ordeal is a perfect example to illustrate Canada’s responsibility towards its citizens and permanent residents with strong ties to Canada.

Over a thousand emails have been sent to members of parliament since December 2015 encouraging the Canadian government to intervene at the highest levels of Egyptian government for the safe return of the young Canadian family back home to Canada.

 

Media Interviews

Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com

 

Monia Mazigh
National coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
(613) 241-5298
national.coordination@iclmg.ca

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled
1­613­562­5800 ext. 6787
nabuzahr@uottawa.ca.

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto
416-946-0589
mohammad.fadel@utoronto.ca

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor
416-978-1821
greg.evans@utoronto.ca

Furher contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.

894 Days | “Our voices are being heard” | Positive Development for Stranded Canadian Family in Egypt‏

Aaida Mamuji

894 Days

“Our voices are being heard” | Positive Development for Stranded Canadian Family in Egypt

Only one day following the widespread national media coverage on the unfortunate circumstances facing Canadian Sarah Attia, her husband – Canadian permanent resident Khaled Al-Qazzaz, and their four Canadian children, a positive development has already been made in their favour.  On Saturday December 12, Sarah successfully renewed her Egyptian visitor visa after Egyptian authorities informed the Canadian Ambassador that she was cleared to do so.  After 7 hours of questioning and waiting, Sarah is now considered to be legally residing in Egypt – a status that she was arbitrarily denied for three-months.  

The precarious situation facing the family, however, continues. Khaled’s arbitrary travel ban prohibits him from returning home to Canada, and the psychological trauma of having to travel home without their father is something the four Al-Qazzaz children, all under the age of 10, are not ready to face.

“These 4 Canadian children have been through so much over the past three years.  They just want to be home with their mom and dad,” explains Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother.  “Sarah has spent 10 months in Egypt waiting for the day that she can board a flight with her husband and children back to Canada. There is only one step left.”

Through the website http://emailyourmp.ca/, supporters of the #KQFamily have sent over a thousand letters to Canadian Members of Parliament, expressing their hopes that the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will telephone the Egyptian President demanding the safe return of the Canadian family to their home in Mississauga.

“Our voices are being heard.  We are being heard,” emphasizes Ahmad.  “I am praying that before Christmas I will be able to hug my sister, brother-in-law, and my nieces and nephew here in Canada.  It is that time of year where you truly long for family.”  Supporters are encouraged to send a letter to their MP, a task easily facilitated at http://emailyourmp.ca/.

 

Recent Media:

Parliament Hill Press conference

December 10, Charles Lynch Room, Parliament Center Block

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaaRZzxGrJ0#t=1106

CBC Power & Politics

Brother of Canadian stranded in Egypt makes passionate plea

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/watch/brother-of-canadian-stranded-in-egypt-makes-passionate-plea/vp-AAggvqJ

CBC Radio Canada

Brother of Canadian woman stuck in Egypt pleads for Trudeau’s intervention

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2015/12/10/brother-of-canadian-woman-stuck-in-egypt-pleads-for-trudeaus-intervention/

CBC Radio Canada

Brother of Canadian woman stuck in Egypt pleads for Trudeau’s intervention

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2015/12/10/brother-of-canadian-woman-stuck-in-egypt-pleads-for-trudeaus-intervention/

Globe and Mail

Canada urged to help family of ex-Egyptian aide trapped in Cairo

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-urged-to-help-family-of-ex-egyptian-aide-trapped-in-cairo/article27700546/

Reuters

Canada urged to help family of ex-Mursi aide trapped in Egypt

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0TT25920151210

CJ800 Barry Morgan

A Canadian citizen had been held in Egypt for 10 months now - December 10, 2015

https://soundcloud.com/barry-morgan-show/a-canadian-citizen-had-been-held-in-egypt-for-10-months-now-december-10-2015

 

Contacts For Media Interviews:

Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor

Contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.

893 Days | Media Update: The Clock is Ticking as Canadian family pleads for support from the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister‏

Aaida Mamuji

MEDIA UPDATE

The Clock is Ticking as Canadian family pleads
for support from the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister


[VIDEO] Parliament Hill Press Conference
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaaRZzxGrJ0#t=1106

On Thursday December 10, brother of Canadian citizen Sarah Attia, Ahmad Attia, Senator Mobina Jaffer and family friend Dr. Nadia Abu-Zahra stood together in the Charles Lynch Room in Parliament Center Block to raise attention to a Canadian family forcibly held in Egypt. The press conference coincided with International Human Rights Day.

Senator Mubina Jaffer, a long-time supporter of the #KQFamily, explained that she has spoken directly to the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office about the unfortunate circumstance facing the family.  

“The clock is ticking.  The clock is ticking,” emphasized Senator Jaffer.  She highlighted Khaled’s deteriorating health condition stemming from his arbitrary imprisonment under solitary confinement, the deteriorating political situation in Egypt, and the fact that Sarah and Khaled’s four children are out of Canadian school.  

“These are Canadian children, and this is a Canadian family.  We have kept quiet and we have not raised this issue publicly earlier because we were very respectful of the Prime Minister having many issues to deal with.  But now we believe, before Christmas, this family deserves to come home,” explained Senator Jaffer.


Recent Media:

 

CBC Power & Politics

Brother of Canadian stranded in Egypt makes passionate plea

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/watch/brother-of-canadian-stranded-in-egypt-makes-passionate-plea/vp-AAggvqJ

 Ahmad and Senator Mobina joined CBC Power and Politics yesterday as well. Ahmad concluded with a clear but respectful request to the Rt. Hon Prime Minister to “call the Egyptian Government and ask of them to investigate where this bureaucratic problem is taking place, to resolve it and to allow this Canadian family to come home quickly and safely before Christmas… the Ambassador has exhausted his options.”

CBC Radio Canada

Brother of Canadian woman stuck in Egypt pleads for Trudeau’s intervention

http://www.rcinet.ca/en/2015/12/10/brother-of-canadian-woman-stuck-in-egypt-pleads-for-trudeaus-intervention/

Globe and Mail

Canada urged to help family of ex-Egyptian aide trapped in Cairo

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canada-urged-to-help-family-of-ex-egyptian-aide-trapped-in-cairo/article27700546/

Reuters

Canada urged to help family of ex-Mursi aide trapped in Egypt

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKBN0TT25920151210

CJ800 Barry Morgan

A Canadian citizen had been held in Egypt for 10 months now - December 10, 2015

https://soundcloud.com/barry-morgan-show/a-canadian-citizen-had-been-held-in-egypt-for-10-months-now-december-10-2015


Contacts For Media Interviews

Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor

Contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.

Press Release - 891 Days - Canadian family forcibly held in Egypt. Canadian citizen Sarah Attia needs you to be her voice.

Ahmad Attia

891 Days

Canadian family forcibly held in Egypt.

Canadian citizen Sarah Attia needs you to be her voice.
891 days of this ordeal is far too long.

 

Canadian permanent-resident, Khaled Al-Qazzaz, was illegally detained by the Egyptian military in July 2013 and held for 558 days in solitary confinement without charge and no reason being provided for his lengthy incarceration. Canadian citizen Sarah Attia, his Toronto born wife, and thousands of Canadians spoke up and called for the former government’s intervention. Khaled was finally released in January 2015 by order of the Egyptian Prosecutor General. As a result of the brutal conditions of his confinement, Khaled now has multiple medical problems that require prompt attention.

 

Sarah and her four children travelled to Egypt shortly after Khaled’s release to accompany him home for admission into a Canadian hospital.  Their plan was to return after two weeks but to their dismay the 558 day ordeal did not end.

 

Instead of allowing the family to return home to Canada, the Egyptian authorities have instead retaliated against Sarah. She was detained with her children at the Cairo airport twice without legal justification and a travel ban was recently issued against her husband without cause. Her savings, intended to cover her husband’s medical surgery were confiscated, and the government has ordered the closure of her bank accounts.

 

The most severe aspect of the situation is the Egyptian authorities’ have continued to delay granting her a visa extension - a requirement for any Canadian residing in Egypt. Sarah is now in legal limbo in Egypt as she cannot leave the country.

 

For the past three months, Sarah has remained hopeful that this matter would be resolved, but to no avail.

 

The situation in Egypt continues to worsen. Global Affairs Canada has issued a travel advisory advising Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to Egypt due to the unpredictable security situation. Last week’s world squash tournament, due to be held in Cairo, was cancelled after 11 teams including the Canadian, American and British teams, declined to travel to Cairo because of lack of security.

 

Supporters have launched a website www.emailyourmp.ca to allow Canadians to share their concerns with their Members of Parliament. Within the last two weeks, over 1000 Canadians, from Nova Scotia to British Columbia, have emailed over 135 Members of Parliament across the country calling on them to speak to the Right Honourable Prime Minister and the Honourable Minister Stéphane Dion and request their personal intervention.

 

The freedoms, rights and, most of all, the safety of four Canadian children and their parents are at risk. Sarah Attia, her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz, and thousands of Canadians are calling on the Canadian government to urgently resolve this matter and bring this family home before Christmas.

 

Sarah’s family members along with the Honourable Senator Mobina Jaffer are holding a press conference today on Parliament Hill in the Charles Lynch Room at 10 am.


Call to Action:

 

#KQFamily supporters are calling on Canadians to continue emailing their Members of Parliament through www.emailyourmp.ca  

 

Recent Media:

 

A Canadian family in limbo in Egypt

The Hill Times, November 30, 2015

https://www.hilltimes.com/opinion/2015/11/30/a-canadian-family-in-limbo-in-egypt/44383

 

 

Media Interviews

 

Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor

 

Contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.



 

882 Days | URGENT ACTION: 5000 Letters to MPs by December 4‏

Aaida Mamuji

5000 Letters to MPs by December 4
www.emailyourmp.ca

There are 4 Canadian children, all under the age of 10, that are being prevented from returning to their home in Canada. Sarah Attia - who was born and raised in Canada, and her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz, along with their four children, are being involuntarily held in Egypt and have been prevented from leaving twice. This situation must stop, and you can help make that happen!

Supporters of the #KQFamily are aiming to send 5000 letters to Members of Parliament all across Canada by December 4, asking them to use their voices to urge Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to demand that Egyptian authorities allow the Canadian family to return to their home in Mississauga.  

All it takes to join the effort is 30 seconds!  Visit www.emailyourmp.ca, add your information, and click send!  It cannot get any easier to make a world of difference for this Canadian family.

In the midst of strengthening Canada-Egypt relations, especially with the recent announcement of Canada’s commitment of $50 million in funding to improve women’s and youth employment in Egypt, and further Canadian support to improve transportation technology in the country, there is no reason for Egypt’s continued persecution of this Canadian family.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz was illegally detained by the Egyptian military in July 2013. He was detained for 558 days in solitary confinement without charge and no reason was provided for his lengthy incarceration. Tens of thousands of Canadians spoke up and called for the former government’s intervention. Khaled was finally released in January 2015 by order of the Egyptian Prosecutor General. But unfortunately his release was not the end of this ordeal.

Go to www.emailyourmp.ca and make sure your Member of Parliament knows that their support is critical.

 Please spread the word.

 

Recent Media:

"A Canadian family in limbo in Egypt" - The Hill Times, November 30, 2015

https://www.hilltimes.com/opinion/2015/11/30/a-canadian-family-in-limbo-in-egypt/44383

 

Media Interviews:

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

 

Background:

Please visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/ for background information.

Urgent Action: www.emailyourmp.ca

Ahmad Attia

Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz and their four children are being involuntarily held in Egypt.  We are concerned for their safety and it is time for Canada to bring them home.

The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the parliament resume for the first time on December 4th. It is time to reach out to your MP. 

We have launched www.emailyourmp.ca so its easy and quick to not only email your MP but also tweet to them as well.  Please take a moment to help by using our site to request your MP to resolve this matter before the new year.


862 Days – FREEKQ - Elections in Canada and Egypt Represent Hope for Ending #KQFamily Ordeal

Ahmad Attia

November 11, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

862 Days

Elections in Canada and Egypt
Represent Hope for Ending #KQFamily Ordeal

 

 

This month new parliamentarians have been elected in Canada and Egypt.  Both Parliaments represent change and a step forward for each country. With these political developments, the #KQFamily are hopeful that their ordeal will finally come to an end.

 

A recent Human Rights Watch report cited Khaled’s ongoing ordeal. Khaled Al-Qazzaz, Sarah Attia, and their children, have found themselves in limbo after being prevented from leaving Egypt by Cairo Airport Authorities, and most recently being informed that a travel ban has been issued by the Prosecutor General.  Lawyers are disputing the travel ban as it has no legal basis, is unconstitutional, and is against international law.  It is hoped that the new Egyptian Parliament will bring a stop to these travel bans immediately and call on the Prosecutor General to reverse this decision.

 

The #KQFamily struggle is a concern for tens of thousands of Canadians who advocated the previous government through petitions, letters, visits to Members of Parliament, and calls to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development. An open letter was sent to the former Prime Minister signed by over 100 leading Canadian academics, lawyers, professionals, authors, artists, celebrities, writers, thinkers, activists and Canadian organizations.  Over 15 human rights organizations have issued reports or statements regarding Khaled’s case. It is hoped that this wide support is recognised by the incoming government.

 

Supporters have high expectations of the Honorable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his new Cabinet to intervene and bring an end to this 28 months long ordeal. The #KQFamily struggle is a humanitarian and non-partisan human rights case.  “We call on the new government to swiftly continue the efforts of the previous government who took concrete steps to resolve this matter,” says Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother.

 

Sarah calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Authorities to urgently resolve the unfortunate state of affairs facing her and her family as they all yearn to return home to Canada. The family needs to get their lives back and for Khaled to receive the urgent medical attention in Canada.

 

Media

 

Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.

 

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

 

Background

 

Please visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_al-Qazzaz for background information.

Further information can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

- 30 –

#cndpoli #onpoli #Egypt #Canada #Canadian #Egyptians

@JustinTrudeau @CanadaFP @ModernEgypt @EgyArmySpox @MfaEgypt @egyptisspecial ‏@moiegy @egyptgovportal

849 Days – FREEKQ – Egyptian Authorities Issue Travel Ban and Family Submits UN Urgent Appeal

Ahmad Attia

October 29, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

849 Days

Egyptian Authorities Issue Travel Ban and
Family Submits UN Urgent Appeal

 

 

Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Sarah Attia have been anxiously waiting for an administrative court hearing for a complaint submitted to dispute prevention of their travel by airport authorities on both March 5th and April 16th 2015.  Since filing the complaint on June 4th, 2015, the hearing has been delayed twice.  The most recent hearing was scheduled for October 27th, 2015, where it was hoped that a judge would grant the family safe return to Canada. Instead, #KQFamily were shocked to find out that the Ministry of Interior submitted an affidavit back-dated to June 25, 2015 indicating that Canadian permanent resident Al-Qazzaz is now under a travel ban by the prosecutor general. The ban did not exist at the time the family was stopped from travel earlier this year.  Rather, its arbitrary date falls two and a half months after their attempt to leave Egypt, and twenty one days after the complaint was filed. This travel ban is unconstitutional, arbitrary, and is not based on legal grounds. Furthermore, Khaled is not under investigation and there are no accusations against him. Neither Khaled, his lawyers, nor the Canadian mission were notified about the travel ban until immediately prior to the court hearing. At the court hearing on October 27th, Khaled’s lawyers submitted requests challenging this new travel ban. The court deferred the hearing again to a future date.

 

In response to this unlawful travel ban, the campaign has submitted an Urgent Appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UN Special Rapporteurs. The family has asked the UN bodies to take immediate and urgent steps to intervene and call on Egypt, a state party to the UN HRC, to remove this travel ban and allow Khaled, Sarah and their four children to return to Canada.

 

Khaled is neither accused nor convicted with any wrongdoing and he is not under investigation by authorities. His block from leaving Egypt is clearly in violation of international treaties that Egypt is a party to.  Egypt must comply with the right to freedom of movement as contained in articles 12 and 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

 

The actions of the Airport Authorities, the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor General have impacted Khaled’s ability to access the required medical care needed as a direct result of the solitary confinement detainment he was subjected to for just under two years. To date, he has missed three scheduled admissions to a Canadian hospital.

 

“This travel ban is certainly a setback. After two years of campaigning for Khaled’s release, it is alarming that 10 months after being freed Khaled, Sarah and thousands of Canadian supporters are still fighting to end this ordeal. There is a lot of work required to help the family overcome the trauma of this experience. But, we can’t do this until they are safe and sound in Canada,” says Ahmad Attia, Sarah Attia’s brother.

 

Family and supporters are hopeful that the new Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau will champion bringing Sarah and her family home.

 

Media

 

Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.

 

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

 

Background

 

Please visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_al-Qazzaz for background information.

 

Further information can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

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@JustinTrudeau @CanadaFP @ModernEgypt @EgyArmySpox @MfaEgypt @egyptisspecial ‏@moiegy @egyptgovportal

750 Days – FREEKQ – Canadian Supporters Break the Silence to Bring Sarah and her Family Home Before School

Ahmad Attia

July 22, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

750 Days

Canadian Supporters Break the Silence to Bring
Sarah and her Family Home Before School

 

After 542 days of campaigning, on January 11 2015, Egyptian Authorities released Khaled Al-Qazzaz without ever charging him, and cleared him of any investigations.  Sarah Attia, his Canadian-born wife and their four children, booked a two-way Toronto-Cairo flight in February with the intention to bring Khaled home and reunite their family two weeks later. It has been five months since his release and Sarah, Khaled and the children have not been able to leave Egypt.

 

The family attempted to travel on April 15, 2015 and after seven hours of detainment by airport authorities they were blocked from leaving the country and returned back into Cairo. Khaled’s passport and Sarah’s money were confiscated and have not been returned to them. The Egyptian Prosecutor’s office has confirmed repeatedly that the family is not on a travel ban.

 

The family has chosen to remain patient hoping that their safe return to Canada could be arranged through diplomatic efforts. Sarah and Khaled believe it is just a matter of time before the situation is cleared up by Egyptian Authorities and they can return home.

 

However, given the time that has elapsed, supporters have insisted on reengaging with the campaign and to publicly advocate for Canadian authorities to offer additional efforts to bring the family home - #Home4School.

 

Friends of the #KQFamily have launched a new campaign, independent of Sarah and Khaled, to urge the Canadian government to intervene and make sure that the entire family is home in August in time for the new school year.  Their children - Abulrahman, Amena, Fatema and Tahrir, have missed school for long enough.  Also, Khaled's medical situation persists.

 

Friends of Sarah and Khaled are very troubled and hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. They also hope that the funds confiscated from Sarah will be returned to her as it is required for Khaled’s medical treatment and the family’s living expenses.

 

“Sarah has informed me that the Canadians are helping her and her family and it is just a matter of time. But we believe it’s not enough. Khaled has been released and for five months has been extremely respectful of the Egyptian system and therefore there should be no reason for this Canadian family to live in limbo and to continue to face this ordeal,” says Asma Ali, a university peer and close friend of Sarah and Khaled. 

 

Media

 

Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.

 

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

653 Days – FREEKQ – Khaled and his Canadian family allowed to leave Airport after 7 Hours

Ahmad Attia

653 Days

Khaled and his Canadian family allowed to leave Airport after 7 Hours

 

 

Sarah, Khaled and their four children were held by Airport Security Services for over seven hours. At 5:45 am they were granted permission to leave the airport and return to their Cairo house. During the entire period the family’s passports were taken and the family was not allowed to leave the customs area. It was particularly difficult for the children to go through this ordeal. Khaled is in a lot of pain due to his medical condition. 

 

Khaled’s passport was confiscated by Airport Authorities. Sarah had reported to the officers the amount that she was carrying, which was below the allowed undeclared limit for her and her 4 children. The customs officers confirmed that she had not passed the allowed limit; nevertheless, they chose to confiscate it. During this ordeal no reasons were given as to why they were blocked from travel or for confiscating the money.

 

The family and their legal team had formally notified all relevant authorities of their travel plans to return home to Canada and Khaled’s medical arrangements ahead of their travel. They received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that Khaled is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel.  

 

Khaled’s health condition is deteriorating quickly and he is in need of immediate medical intervention. Admission to a Canadian hospital had been arranged and Khaled was to be admitted immediately on arrival. The family is very troubled and we hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. We also hope that the funds confiscated from Sarah will be returned to her as it is required for Khaled’s medical treatment and the family’s living expenses.

 

“I hope that our family’s ordeal does not continue. We only want to go home, get our life back on track, start a journey of healing for our entire family, and resume our passion in education ”, Sarah Attia. 

 

Recent Health Update

 

Canadian physicians have been consulted regarding recent MRI reports. Khaled’s imaging report corroborates multiple areas of concern in his cervical and lumbar spine. Khaled is at risk of suffering irreversible damage to his spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Without treatment he is in danger of permanent paralysis.

 

Khaled’s family has arranged admission to a Canadian hospital immediately upon his arrival.

652 Days – FREEKQ – Khaled and His Family Prevented from Traveling

Ahmad Attia

April 15, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

652 Days 

Khaled and His Family Prevented from Traveling

Family Indefinitely Held in Egyptian Airport, Medical Care Savings Confiscated and Family is Very Distressed

 

This evening as Sarah, Khaled and their four children were leaving to go home, the family was stopped at Cairo International Airport by Airport Security Services and told they would not be allowed to travel.  For the last six hours they have been held without any indication of when they will be allowed to go home. Their passports have been taken and Sarah’s savings intended for Khaled’s medical care costs have been confiscated.

 

Over the last few months Khaled has worked diligently and respectfully to ensure that all his travel documents are in order. Khaled has received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that he is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel. The family and the legal team had formally notified all relevant authorities with their travel plans and Khaled’s medical arrangements.

 

There has been no explanation by Airport Security Services as to why the family is currently being held.  Prior to travel, Khaled’s lawyers confirmed that he is not on a travel ban list.  Thus, the actions of the Airport Security Services at Cairo International Airport are inconsistent with the clearances provided to the family.

 

Sarah and Khaled’s family and friends are very concerned at this time.  Khaled is in need of urgent medical care.    Sarah and the children are extremely exhausted and distressed by the current circumstances.

 

Khaled and Sarah hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. Sarah is in contact with Canadian authorities who have been assisting her and the children. Sarah and her children are all Canadian citizens and Khaled is a Canadian permanent resident.

 

“The children are very overwhelmed and this has been a very difficult experience for all of us. We had hoped to celebrate with friends and family in the morning. We will continue to communicate with the necessary Egyptian and Canadian authorities to confirm immediate and safe travels. I look forward to catching the next flight to Toronto,” says Sarah Attia.

652 Days – FREEKQ - Khaled’s Travel Documents Issued and He’s Coming Home for Surgery

Ahmad Attia

April 15, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

652 Days 

Khaled’s Travel Documents Issued and He’s Coming Home for Surgery

 

The family of Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a Mississauga resident, is extremely delighted that he has finally received all necessary identification and travel documents from Canadian and Egyptian authorities. His Canadian wife, Sarah Attia, and four children had traveled to Egypt in February to accompany him and help with his medical condition until he is was cleared to travel for his surgery in Canada.

 

Based on the most recent assessment of Canadian and Egyptian physicians, Khaled’s health condition is deteriorating quickly and he is in need of immediate medical intervention. Khaled has severe problems with his spine, specifically with 7 discs in his neck and lower back, resulting in very limited mobility, constant pain and decreasing use of his limbs. Physicians have advised that if he does not receive prompt and appropriate medical treatment the symptoms may lead to permanent paralysis. Khaled received a preparatory surgery in a private hospital in Cairo in January and is still recovering from this surgery.

 

Khaled’s family has made all the necessary arrangements for admission to a hospital in Ontario. Khaled and his family are scheduled to arrive in Toronto on Thursday April 16.

 

Khaled has received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that he is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel. The family, and the legal team, has formally notified all relevant authorities with their travel plans and Khaled’s medical arrangements.

 

“We have patiently waited for Khaled’s travel documents and now we are delighted that he can return home. I am hopeful that the Egyptian and Canadian authorities will continue to assist in our safe return,” says Sarah Attia.

 

Recent Health Update

 

Canadian physicians have been consulted regarding recent MRI reports. Khaled’s imaging report corroborates multiple areas of concern in his cervical and lumbar spine. Khaled is at risk of suffering irreversible damage to his spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Without treatment he is in danger of permanent paralysis.

 

Khaled’s family has arranged admission to a Canadian hospital immediately upon his arrival.

558 Days - Khaled Al-Qazzaz Finally Released and Looking Forward to Being Reunited with Wife and Children

Sarah Attia

January 11, 2015
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

558 Days 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz Finally Released and Looking Forward to Being Reunited with Wife and Children

On Monday December 29, 2014 the Attorney General issued an order for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s release. Today, Khaled was released from his hospital room.
 
Today Khaled and his family are extremely elated and grateful for his release.
 
While we celebrate Khaled's freedom, we remain very concerned about his health and reuniting him with his wife, Sarah Attia and their four children in Canada.
 
Khaled and Sarah are praying for his speedy return to Canada. “We are all so happy, but It’s not over until he’s home with me and our children,” said Sarah. The family has already raised the funds and made the arrangements necessary for him to receive appropriate medical care.  We are hopeful that the Egyptian and Canadian governments will expedite the processing of this humanitarian case so that Khaled can finally come home.
 
Most importantly, on such a joyous day Khaled and Sarah are forever grateful to friends and supporters.

553 Days – FREEKQ - Khaled Al-Qazzaz Release Order Issued

Ahmad Attia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

553 Days 

Khaled Al-Qazzaz Release Order Issued 

 

On Monday December 29, 2014 the Attorney General issued an order for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s release.  This means that his case file has been closed and no charges will be proffered. After 18 months, Khaled and his family were extremely elated and grateful for this news.

 

Khaled’s legal team in Egypt has been working diligently with local authorities to effect his release and have successfully processed all necessary release paperwork. It has been 8 days since the release order was issued, and while the family has been advised that a release normally occurs within 2 to 3 days, they remain optimistic that formalities will be rapidly concluded and Khaled’s detention will soon come to a close.

 

We remain very troubled about Khaled’s health. He is due for a number of medical operations to address his deteriorating health conditions caused by the period spent in solitary confinement. Yesterday Khaled completed his first surgery and he is currently recovering.  With the news of his release, the hope is for subsequent operations to take place in a hospital of his choice with Canadian standards of care.

 

We are grateful to all those working towards Khaled's immediate release and acknowledge the efforts of those working to expedite the processing of this humanitarian case so that Khaled can finally come home to his wife and children in Canada.

 

“My children and I are very happy and excited. We hope that Khaled will be with us soon, get the medical care he needs, and put his life back together,” says Sarah Attia, his Canadian-born wife.

Another holiday season without Khaled

Reflections from SarahSarah Attia

Tomorrow is the last day of school, but my kids are hardly looking forward to the winter break. This time is especially difficult for them as they had high hopes of being able to the enjoy the holiday season with their father at home. But instead, Khaled remains imprisoned in hospital, unable to receive the medical care and attention that he needs while going through endless cycles of court hearings and appeals and delayed decisions. For the third time this month, a judge has ruled to delay decision on Khaled's case and has postponed his hearing to December 23. And of course, there continue to be no charges brought against Khaled. 

These cycles are taking a toll on our family, especially during this season when families normally come together. My kids ask if we can go see their father, but because of heightened security concerns in Egypt, I have to tell them it is not possible. But I keep up hope by reminding my children of all the goodness that is spreading because people are choosing to pay forward their father's kindness in his absence. Today, I received news that Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (English branch), has made a donation to the Canadian Centre for International Justice, in honour of Khaled’s commitment to social justice. Back in 2003, when Khaled and I were students at the University of Toronto, Khaled founded "Students for World Justice,” a student club intended to raise awareness about injustices around the world and to work towards alleviating them. During our time in Egypt as well, he educated students on human rights and social justice in hopes of building a new generation of Egyptians who valued these fundamental moral principles. 

So although Khaled may not be home for the holidays, I remind my kids that we can continue to do the things that he would have done with us if he was here -- spread peace, love, hope, and joy amongst our family, friends, neighbours, and community.