Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Updates on Khaled

Press Release: 365 Days - Khaled is the Longest Detainee in Egypt

Updates on Khaled, Campaign NewsSarah Attia

July 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

365 Days
Khaled is the Longest Detainee in Egypt
Today Marks his 35th Birthday, 365 Days in Detention and
Intensified Violations of his Basic Human Rights

As of the July 3 2013 military coup, Khaled is the longest held detainee in Egypt, along with the 8 other aides of President Morsi. He remains uncharged without any official allegations.

Khaled is the father of four young Canadian children and today they are wondering why their father still remains unlawfully detained in Egypt when ‘he was fixing Egypt’. Today is Khaled’s 35th birthday and instead of celebrations his family remains extremely concerned for his health and safety.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz was an acclaimed educator, youth activist, human rights champion and revolutionist. He spent the 18 days in Tahrir Square until the fall of Mubarak in 2011. He campaigned for social change, economic reform, and freedom and justice for all Egyptians.  He was the youngest member of the democratically elected President Morsi’s staff.

Yesterday Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian-born wife, was informed that Egypt’s Prosecutor General has issued a decision that Khaled will be denied access to lawyers and family for the next month.  This is a clear violation of Khaled’s basic human rights.

While no reasons were provided, this intensified lockdown and isolation is clearly an attempt to silence Khaled completely. However, Khaled remains hopefully and steadfast in his fight for freedom. "After one year of unjust captivity under very difficult conditions, I still believe in the good in people around the world. All that we need to do is to start a wave of goodness everywhere in the world that will follow from person to person or people to people. Then, we will see more justice and freedom in the world. So be the one who starts this wave," says Khaled in a note received by Sarah several days ago.

Canadians will gather at Queens Park on July 3, 2014 at 8 pm for a candlelight vigil to stand in solidarity for those detained or killed since the military coup.

Recent Media

CNN Amanpour – 'Enough is enough,' says wife of former Morsy aide jailed in Egypt
http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2014/07/01/enough-is-enough-says-wife-of-former-morsy-aide-jailed-in-egypt/

Middle East Eye – Anniversary looms for Canadian resident detained in Egypt
http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/anniversary-looms-canadian-resident-detained-egypt/2056393788

NYT - Why Is the World Silent? Khaled al-Qazzaz: Disappeared by Egypt’s Military 
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/opinion/khaled-al-qazzaz-disappeared-by-egypts-military.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0     

The Guardian – Sarah Attia releases a letter to the Egyptian Prosecutor General - My husband has been illegally held in an Egyptian prison for a year. Enough.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/26/illegally-held-egyptian-prison-prosecutor-general-egypt

Interview Opportunities: 

Sarah Attia is available for interviews to discuss her experience in Egypt and in Canada after the July 3rd 2013 military coup and the conditions in which her husband has been detained.  

Call to Action

Postcard Campaign
Supporters of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

July 3rd Vigil
The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy is organizing a candle vigil at Queens Park on July 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm stand in solidarity for those detained or killed since the military coup.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 365 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

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For more information: 

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Khaled’s Smuggled Letter from Torah Prison is Published in the New York Times

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

June 27, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

360 Days
Khaled’s Smuggled Letter from Torah Prison is Published in the New York Times

In 5 days, Khaled Al-Qazzaz will have endured 365 days of unlawful detainment and solitary confinement.

Several days ago Khaled smuggled a letter out of Torah maximum security prison. It was published in the New York Times online today, and will appear in print on June 28. Khaled asks why the international community is silent about those detained and about the ongoing human rights violations in Egypt. “Why is the world silent?” says Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/opinion/khaled-al-qazzaz-disappeared-by-egypts-military.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0                                             

On June 25, Amnesty International Canada issued an open letter to Minister John Baird regarding the cases of Mohamed Fahmy and Khaled al-Qazzaz in Egypt. On Khaled’s case they state, “International human rights standards require detainees to be charged and tried promptly.  By any measure one year of detention without charge or trial blatantly violates that fundamentally important obligation.  And each day of further imprisonment in contravention of that vital safeguard only deepens the gravity of the violations Mr. Al-Qazzaz continues to experience.  Given that Mr. Al-Qazzaz is a Canadian permanent resident and his wife and children Canadian citizens, we renew our call to you to communicate publicly a clear request to Egyptian authorities to release him now unless he is immediately charged with a recognizably criminal offence by the ordinary (not military) Prosecution and given a fair trial before a civilian court with no recourse to the death penalty.”

http://www.amnesty.ca/news/coalition-letters/letter-to-the-honourable-john-baird-re-the-cases-of-mohamed-fahmy-and-khaled

Canada has always had a global reputation as a defender of human rights, however, its recent position has been far from this. Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Mohamed Fahmy are a testimony to the gross human rights violations in Egypt. Canada should speak out against the 2588 killed, 21,317 detained, 80 journalists arrested, the media silencing and the women and children detained.

The Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign has built a replica of Khaled’s cell and it will be on display at the June 28 rally located at the Mississauga Civic Centre at 3 pm. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/712055558832286/

Recent Media

NYT - Why Is the World Silent? Khaled al-Qazzaz: Disappeared by Egypt’s Military

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/28/opinion/khaled-al-qazzaz-disappeared-by-egypts-military.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0                                             

The Star - Jailed journalists face uncertain fate in Egypt

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/06/25/jailed_journalists_face_uncertain_fate_in_egypt.html

The Star - How secularists and liberals became enablers of Egyptian junta: Siddiqui

http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/06/25/how_secularists_and_liberals_became_enablers_of_egyptian_junta_siddiqui.html

Interview Opportunities: 

Sarah is available for interviews to discuss Khaled’s renewed maximum security detainment. If you would like to interview her, please get in touch with us through the information below.

Call to Action

Khaled Al-Qazzaz - Rally For His Freedom - Bring Khaled Home!
Saturday, June 28 at 3:00 PM
Mississauga Civic Centre
We are calling on a minimum of 365 supporters to come out. Each person will represent one day of solitary confinement - one day of silence - one day of Khaled's voice.

Postcard Campaign
Supporters of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 360 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

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For more information: 

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Three Major Updates

Updates on Khaled, Campaign NewsSarah Attia

June 26, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

359 Days
Three Major Updates: Sarah Attia Releases Letter to Egypt Prosecutor General;
Khaled’s Father Released; and June 28 Rally Location Change

 

After the events of this week, Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian born wife, has issued a letter to the Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat. The Guardian has published the letter and hopefully it will gain international attention and make it to the Prosecutor General’s desk.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/26/illegally-held-egyptian-prison-prosecutor-general-egypt

Yesterday Sarah Attia received confirmation that her father-in-law was released on the basis of health conditions. He is scheduled next week for open-heart surgery. Mr. Qazzaz, a 70 year old education consultant and business man, was unlawfully arrested in October 2013 and detained in Tora prison without charges for almost 9 months.

Rally Location Change

The Saturday June 28 rally for the freedom of Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Mohamed Fahmy has been re-located to Mississauga Civic Centre near Celebration Square.

Supporters for justice in Canada are calling for both Khaled and Mohamed to be released. On June 28 Canadians will gather at Mississauga Civic centre to urge the Canadian federal government to recognise the human rights violations, speak out against the lack of due process taking place in Egypt, and demand Khaled and Mohamed’s release.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Mohamed Fahmy have suffered in solitary confinement in neighbouring cells until Mohamed was relocated. Khaled remains in solitary confinement without charge. Mohamed Fahmy has been sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Recent Media

The Guardian – Sarah Attia releases a letter to the Egyptian Prosecutor General - My husband has been illegally held in an Egyptian prison for a year. Enough

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/26/illegally-held-egyptian-prison-prosecutor-general-egypt

The Star - Canadian family of another Egyptian detainee ‘hit hard’ by Fahmy ruling

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/06/25/canadian_family_of_another_egyptian_detainee_hit_hard_by_fahmy_ruling.html#

Interview Opportunities: 

Sarah is available for interviews to discuss Khaled’s renewed maximum security detainment. If you would like to interview her, please get in touch with us through the information below.

Call to Action

Khaled Al-Qazzaz - Rally For His Freedom - Bring Khaled Home!
Saturday, June 28 at 3:00 PM
Mississauga Civic Centre
We are calling on a minimum of 365 supporters to come out. Each person will represent one day of solitary confinement - one day of silence - one day of Khaled's voice.

Postcard Campaign
Supporters of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 359 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

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For more information: 

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Renewed for 45 Days but Canadians Want Khaled to Come Home Now

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

June 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

357 Days
Renewed for 45 Days but Canadians Want Khaled to Come Home Now

Today Khaled Al-Qazzaz appeared before a judge to determine if his solitary confinement detainment will be renewed for another 45 days. When given an opportunity to address the judges, Khaled spoke out and told them, "this is your chance to show the world that the Egyptian judiciary can serve justice." The judge simply renewed his sentence without charge for another 45 days. A delegate from the Canadian embassy attended the court appearance.

In court today Khaled was informed that his father, who is detained in a military hospital, requires open-heart surgery after suffering two heart attacks in Torah prison. Khaled’s 75 year old father is being held without charge by Egyptian authorities.  Khaled was also informed that his uncle passed-away on Sunday June 22, 2014.

Several supporters across Canada have teamed up to send the Canadian government a message: “Hon. Stephen Harper, pick up the phone and call President Sisi. Khaled Al-Qazzaz must be released!”

As of today, over 4000 post cards have been mailed. The campaign hopes that before July 3, 2014, Khaled’s 35thbirthday, over 10,000 postcards will be delivered to the Canadian government.

On June 28, 2014 Canadians will gather at Queens Park to rally the Canadian Federal Government to take more action.  A minimum of 365 people will come out to represent 365 days of silence that Khaled has had to endure in isolation.

The Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign has been urging the Canadian government to pressure Egyptian authorities to release Khaled since early April.  While the Government of Canada has offered incremental support, little progress has been made.  Unless something is done, July 3rd will mark 365 days of Khaled’s unlawful detainment in a maximum-security prison in solitary confinement without charge.

Recent Media

CTV - Canadian concerned as husband due in Egypt court

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/fahmy-s-conviction-worries-canadian-whose-husband-is-due-in-egyptian-court-1.1883248#ixzz35ZHZcoLf

Egypt's Gulag published by Justin Podur

http://podur.org/node/1067

Interview Opportunities: 

Canadian Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, is available for interviews to discuss Khaled’s renewed maximum security detainment. If you would like to interview her, please get in touch with us through the information below.

Call to Action

Khaled Al-Qazzaz - Rally For His Freedom - Bring Khaled Home!
Saturday, June 28 at 3:00 PM
Queens Park in Toronto, Ontario
We are calling on a minimum of 365 supporters to come out. Each person will represent one day of solitary confinement - one day of silence - one day of Khaled's voice.

Postcard Campaign
Supports of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 357 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Unanticipated Rescheduling of Court Appearance to June 24

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

June 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 356 Days
Unanticipated Rescheduling of Court Appearance to June 24

Following the unfortunate news of Canadian Mohamed Fahmy, Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian wife, was contacted by lawyers in Cairo and informed that his court appearancehas been rescheduled from July 1st to June 24, 2014 – tomorrow.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz has not been charged for 356 days.  In 9 days, he will complete a year of unlawful detainment in solitary confinement.

Lawyers have not been informed of reasons for the unexpected date change.  No formal accusations have been shared.  Why Khaled is being detained remains unknown.

Khaled’s family is concerned that he will become locked into a continuous cycle of solitary confinement extensions without ever having fair legal process. Sarah is urgently calling on the Canadian government and the international community to monitor Khaled’s court appearance and demand Khaled's immediate release.

Recent Media

World Bulletin has published an article on June 20, 2014. 
“Canadian still in Egyptian prison after a year”

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/139299/canadian-still-in-egyptian-prison-after-a-year

Interview Opportunities: 

Sarah is available for interviews to discuss the July 3rd military coup anniversary, the ordeal that her family continues to live through and the future of her husband’s release given the current climate in Egypt. If you would like to interview her, please get in touch with us through the information below.

Media Coverage of Court Appearance 

Sarah is urging media to bring Khaled’s court appearance to the world. Cairo correspondence available to attend the court appearance tomorrow should contact our team to receive details of time, location and access information.

Call to Action

Supports of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 356 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made

Further information can be found at: 
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Khaled Al-Qazzaz Court Appearance Scheduled for July 1 2014

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

June 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 350 Days
Khaled Al-Qazzaz Court Appearance Scheduled for July 1 2014

On June 3, 2014 Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s unlawful detainment in solitary confinement maximum-security prison without charge was extended for an additional 45 days. Today his lawyers have confirmed July 1, 2014 as his next court appearance. On that day, a judge will decide whether Khaled should be released or if his detainment should continue for another 45 days.

As we approach the July 3, 2013 military coup anniversary, this date means far more to Khaled and his family. July 3rd was the date that the Egyptian military forcibly and unlawfully detained Khaled. It is also the day that Khaled never came home to his children who had cake and gifts ready to celebrate their father’s 34th birthday. 

“July 3rd will mark 365 days of this horrible ordeal. I hope that before that day Khaled will walk through the front door and celebrate his birthday with his children this year. It has been too long.  It is time for him to come home” says Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian wife.

Khaled has done nothing wrong and he continues to spend his days and nights in solitary confinement in 45C weather in one of the worst prisons in Egypt.  July 1, 2014 is an opportunity for the Egyptian government to demonstrate respect for human rights, freedom and the rule of law.  July 1st is an opportunity for the Canadian government to bring justice and closure to this terrible ordeal that Sarah Attia, a Toronto-born Canadian citizen, and her children have suffered for close to one year.

Sarah is calling on the Canadian government and the international community to monitor Khaled’s court appearance and urgently assist in securing the immediate release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

Sarah is available for interviews to discuss the ordeal that her family continues to live through and the future of her husband’s release given the current climate in Egypt. 

Recent Media

Sarah Attia published an Opinion Piece in Huffington Post “My Husband's Been Detained in Egypt 320 Days without Charge”

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sarah-attia/khaled-al-qazzaz-egypt-jail_b_5445966.html

Call to Action

The Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign is calling on friends and supporters to mail post cards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your own post card!

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/ 

Supporters

“I met Khaled during the year he founded Students for World Justice (SWJ) at the University of Toronto when he asked me to take on the role of coordinator. He had a vision that saw SWJ raising awareness about global justice issues on campus. In its first year, SWJ launched an international orphan sponsorship campaign that saw 30 orphans being sponsored for a year; collaboration with the Black Students Association during Black History Month; and a panel on racial profiling at airports. Never have I met a leader with so much passion, drive and determination.  Khaled made good things happen, and he inspired everyone that knew him to do the same".

Aaida Aziz, UofT Alumni and Former SWJ Coordinator

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Global Exchange, Code Pink and the UN HRC are all supporting the immediate release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz. 

Globe and Mail, The Star, CBC and CTV have all published stories on Khaled’s detainment.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 334 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Sarah has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: Court of Appeal Refuses Lawyer's Request for Release

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

June 3, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 335 Days
Court of Appeal Refuses Lawyer's Request for Release

Khaled Al-Qazzaz appeared in court today behind the defendant’s cage of the courtroom in Cairo.  Family and media were denied access to the hearing.  The hearing was not monitored by any Canadian or international delegates. The lawyers appealed for Khaled’s release on the grounds of unlawful detainment without charge and his increased health concerns as a result of the detainment.  The Egyptian court of appeal refused the request that Khaled be released without providing any reasons.

Based on the original decision to extend Khaled’s detainment for 45 days, Khaled will not see another judge until July 1, 2014.

On May 23, 2014, Amnesty International issued a report on key human rights concerns ahead of presidential elections.  They have stated that “the Prosecution has ordered the continued detention of many of those arrested, pending criminal investigation, but without formal charges. Some have faced months of such preventive detention.” They also reported that “aide Khaled al-Qazzaz does not face criminal charges, despite months in detention.”

On May 30, 2014, 11 human rights organizations issued a joint letter addressing the situation of human rights in Egypt at the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council. In the letter they state “recent judicial practices cast serious doubts on the independence of the judicial system and on its ability to ensure accountability.”

“There must be an end in sight. Loss of hope is not an option for my family and I. Our Canadian government must take concrete steps to bring Khaled home.  Canada has an obligation to demand that the protection of human rights is a priority on the agenda of the new president and government.  It is time that Khaled be released,” says Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz Canadian-born wife.

Sarah is available for interviews to discuss the ordeal that her family continues to live through and the future of her husband’s release given the current climate in Egypt.

Call to Action

The Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign is calling on friends and supporters to sign our online change.org petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/free-khaled-al-qazzaz

Supporters

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Global Exchange, Code Pink and the UN HRC are all supporting the immediate release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz. 

Globe and Mail, The Star, CBC and CTV have all published stories on Khaled’s detainment.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 335 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Sarah has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

 

 

 

Press Release: Appeal Hearing Scheduled for June 3

Updates on Khaled, Campaign NewsSarah Attia

June 2, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

334 Days
Appeal Hearing Scheduled for June 3

On May 17, 2014 Khaled Al-Qazzaz appeared before a judge for the first time to rule on his release.  Khaled's detainment was extended for 45 days in solitary confinement once again.  Neither the prosecution nor the judge provided any reasons for their decision.

Last week, Khaled’s legal team submitted an appeal application.  Today, the appeal hearing was announced for June 3, 2014 to take place at the Police Academy Court.

Khaled has not been charged with any wrong doing.  His lawyers will be arguing that his detainment is unlawful and that he should be released immediately as required by Egyptian and international law.

On May 30, 2014 Minister John Baird issued a statement regarding the elections in Egypt. “The conclusion of voting in Egypt’s presidential election is a key step along Egypt’s path to democracy... Canada is committed to supporting Egypt in making a peaceful and meaningful transition to democracy, based on respect for human rights, freedom and the rule of law.”

“If Canada is committed to the respect of human rights, freedom and the rule of law in Egypt, then our Canadian government should do everything in its power to make sure Khaled receives a fair hearing and is released immediately,” says Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian wife.

Sarah, born and raised in Canada, is calling on the Canadian government and the international community to monitor Khaled’s hearing and urgently assist in securing the immediate release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

 

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 334 days. He has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.

Sarah has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:

http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release - Khaled's Detainment Extended Without Reason

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

May 17, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

319 Days
Khaled Al-Qazzaz - Unlawful Detainment Extended for 45 days without Reason

Khaled Al-Qazzaz was transferred to court today and appeared before a judge to rule on his release. Khaled was transferred early morning from Tora maximum security prison to the court house where he was held in a holding cell until his court appearance which lasted for one hour.

Khaled was allowed to speak, in addition to his lawyers, in which he called on the judge for his release as he has been detained without reason for 316 days.  Neither the prosecution nor the judge provided any reasons for their decision. The judge spoke once and said "Your detention is extended for 45 days."  Khaled's lawyers are preparing to appeal this decision.

The United Nations Congress, on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, stated “pre-trial detention may be ordered only if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the persons concerned have been involved in the commission of the alleged offences.” 

In April 2014 the military-backed Egyptian government passed a new law allowing the government to imprison individuals for an unlimited period of time without trial.  Khaled’s Canadian wife, Sarah Attia is extremely concerned that Khaled will now be stuck in a cycle of endless extensions.

The international community bears responsibility along with the military-backed government of Egypt for Khaled's unlawful detainment. Under international law, when a state is unwilling to protect human rights, the global community is charged with preventing continuing violations.

Khaled was a staffer, bureaucrat and civil servant of a democratically elected government and he exercised his rights to freedom of expression and association peacefully.  

Sarah calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Embassy to urgently assist in securing the immediate safety and prompt release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 315 days. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

Khaled has been detained since July 3, 2013, the day of the military coup, but the Egyptian authorities refuse to recognize the 168 days in which he was held in an undisclosed location without legal process. Khaled was transferred to Tora Prison on December 17, 2013 and has been in detainment since.

Further information can be found at www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com.  

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release - Stall Tactics Used to Delay Khaled's Court Appearance

Campaign News, Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

May 14, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

316 Days
Stall Tactics Used to Delay Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Court Appearance

Khaled Al-Qazzaz was scheduled to appear today before a judge to rule on his release. Khaled was transferred early morning from Tora maximum security prison to the court house where he was held in a holding cell for several hours. Around mid-day he was placed back in a prison van and returned to Tora prison without appearing before the judge.

The courts have informed his legal team that the case has been re-scheduled to Saturday May 17. No reason was given.

The family is concerned because this may be a stalling tactic in order to build a fabricated case before the May 17 deadline in which a judge may rule in favor of Khaled’s release as he has not been accused with any wrong doing or charged.

Khaled has been held for 316 days of which 168 days are considered, under international law, “enforced disappearance” and are not being recognised by the Egyptian courts. In a note Khaled wrote on April 27, 2014 he has expressed concern. “I fear that new charges might be added to justify this very complicated situation” said Qazzaz.

Khaled worked, like so many others, to build a new democratic Egypt, exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association. He became a staffer of the first democratically elected government and for this he was detained.

Member of Parliament Marc Garneau, the Liberal Critic of Foreign Affairs, is currently on a trip visiting several countries in the Middle East. On May 14 and 15 he will be visiting Egypt and meeting with officials from the current military-backed Egyptian government.  Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz's Canadian wife, met with MP Marc Garneau in Ottawa and has asked for his support.

Sarah is urging MP Marc Garneau to tell the military-backed Egyptian government that Canada will not tolerate this injustice any longer, and demand her husband’s release.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 315 days. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

According to Egyptian legal due process, after 5 months of detainment without charge the detainee must appear before a judge who decides whether to release the individual or to further extend the detention. Khaled has been detained since July 3, 2013, the day of the military coup, but the Egyptian authorities refuse to recognize the 168 days in which he was held in an undisclosed location without legal process. Khaled was transferred to Tora Prison on December 17 and as such, his 5 months of detainment in Tora will expire on May 17, 2014.

Khaled’s court appearance has been delayed twice, first scheduled on May 10 and then scheduled for May 14.

Further information can be found at www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release - Khaled Due in Court May 14

Updates on Khaled, Campaign NewsSarah Attia

May 13, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

315 Days

Khaled Al-Qazzaz Court Appearance Announced on May 14

Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s legal team has been notified that he will appear in court tomorrow, Wednesday May 14, 2014, for the first time since his detainment.

Khaled is being held solely for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and association, including his work as a staff member of a democratically elected government.

Hundreds of cases have been opened and are actively in trial, however, Khaled has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges.

“Both prosecutor’s investigators said that there is no real case and [it] would not stand in court. I was not asked a single question about any accusations or anything I did until this moment.” Khaled Al-Qazzaz, April 27 2014

Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz's Canadian wife, calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Embassy to urgently assist in securing the immediate safety and prompt release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 315 days. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

According to Egyptian legal due process, after 5 months of detainment without charge the detainee must appear before a judge who decides whether to release the individual or to further extend the detention. Khaled has been detained since July 3, 2013, the day of the military coup, but the Egyptian authorities refuse to recognize the 168 days in which he was held in an undisclosed location without legal process. Khaled was transferred to Tora Prison on December 17 and as such, his 5 months of detainment in Tora will expire on May 17, 2014.

May 10 was the planned trial date for Khaled’s first appearance in front of a judge. Khaled and his legal counsel were on standby, however, Khaled was never transferred to the courts.

Further information can be found at www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release - Khaled's Court Appearance Delayed Without Notice

Updates on Khaled, Campaign NewsSarah Attia

May 11, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

313 Days

Khaled Al-Qazzaz Court Appearance Delayed Without Notice

May 10 was the planned trial date for Khaled’s first appearance in front of a judge. Khaled and his legal counsel were on standby, however, Khaled was never transferred to the courts.

According to Egyptian legal due process, after 5 months of detainment without charge the detainee must appear before a judge to decide whether to release the individual or approve further extension.  The Egyptian authorities refuse to recognise the 168 days in which Khaled was held in an undisclosed location without legal process and as such Khaled’s 5 months of detainment in Torah will expire on May 17, 2014.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s legal team is actively working to determine the new scheduled date. They are expecting Khaled to appear in court at any moment.  It has been common in other cases that the Judiciary system announce court cases the day of, resulting in lawyers being unaware of their client’s trial. 

Sarah Attia, Khaled’s Canadian-born wife, is seriously concerned that Khaled may not have proper legal representation if his trial date is not announced with sufficient notice.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 313 days. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges for nearly one year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped insect infested cell with only a blanket and a non-functioning toilet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Thank you from Khaled

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

We received a heart-felt, hand-written note from Khaled today. Please read below:

I feel forever indebted to all my friends: they contributed to my development; they simply helped me be who I am now. More so, for what they are doing now…supporting my cause and standing by my family by words that shall reach all ears; actions that will accumulate one over the other – big or small, to rock the boats that will set me free; by the prayers from the heart that reach God Al-Mighty without barriers and do wonders. 

I will give you examples of how these prayers reach me: on a very hot day like today when one gentle breeze passes by I feel that God has answered one prayer; when we suddenly receive permission to take a 5 minute shower after 50 hours of total lockup in our solitary confinement, I feel that there is another prayer being answered; when my heart aches forcing a few tears out remembering my wife, children and parents and I feel a gentle pat over my heart that comforts me, I feel certain that this is another answered prayer, and so on.

I feel those blessings and send a prayer back to all of you. Please keep the prayers up, as you can see, they are needed heavily. God willing, we will meet soon.

Yours sincerely,

Khaled

"Their support keeps me going..."

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Khaled was at the prosecutor's office where his detainment was renewed once again. His wife Sarah wasn't able to see him except from far as he was leaving. But he sent this beautiful and touching hand-written note to her (text below)

"Please tell my friends everywhere that I love all of them and feel proud to know every one of them, every one has engraved something special in my heart and shaped who I am. 

"Tell them that their support keeps me going, their kind words bring smiles to my heart, their supportive actions pushes my case forward and their prayers and supplications reaches me, brings relief to my heart and goes directly to the One who has control over all matters.

"I'm very thankful to Allah for giving me strength and patience to overcome the physical challenges and lighted a special path for self-discovery and self-cleansing, it’s like a process of purifying precious metals. I’m still holding up and want you to keep the call for freedom alive. I look forward to seeing you all very soon. Lots of love, Khaled"

Message from Khaled

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Last week, Sarah tried to visit Khaled but was unable to meet with him. Instead, she received a note from her dear husband. Sarah shares the story with us:

"Dear Friends,

Today is Day 234 of Khaled’s unjust detainment.

I was not able to visit Khaled this week. Visitations at Al-Aqrab, Tora Prison, remain closed, and the many human rights violations that the prisoners are experiencing continue. Khaled was brought to the prosecutor's office last Sunday February 16. The kids and I waited for hours outside in the hopes that we would see him for a few minutes. Unfortunately, we were not permitted to enter. Khaled's illegal detainment was renewed for another 15 days. 

The good news is that Khaled met his father by chance that day for the first time in months, since his father was also at the prosecutor's office at that time. Khaled sent a note to me on a torn piece of cardboard where he reassured us that he was fine. It reads:

“Today is a blessing from God, I got to see my father. Please try to pay charity (sadaqa) to those near you and encourage my friends to do the same; it might be my key to relief. I started to feel the blessings of God with everything that is around me and everything that is happening. I feel that God is taking care of us and this is what comforts me; His Mercy is enough...”

When we finally decided to leave, Fatema kept asking why we were not allowed to see her dad. And yet again, I was at a loss of words to explain to a 4 year old the evils of injustice."

Sarah also shared with us a picture of Khaled taken in December 2013 on another similar trip to the prosecutor's office. It was the first time his family saw him there.

Khaled_Dec2013.jpg


Sarah visits Khaled in prison

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Khaled's wife was able to visit him in prison recently and sends us this update:

"Alhamdullilah I visited Khaled a few days ago. I was very worried about him and the others at Alaqrab as we knew nothing about them for the last two weeks, except that the conditions were very bad. Although Khaled looked exhausted and had dark circles around his eyes, he tried to reassure us that he is well. The conditions are still very difficult, as he spends 23 hours of his day in lock-down in his tomb like cell, it is very cold, and food is minimal. Nonetheless, he is in good spirit and remains hopeful. I ask again for your prayers as Khaled will be at the prosecutor's office this Sunday, Feb. 16th for continued “investigations” on the baseless accusations." 

Amnesty International also sent out an Urgent Action call yesterday (February 14), noting that Khaled has not been charged with any criminal offence though his detention has exceeded seven months now. Please respond to Amnesty's call and write to the listed officials calling for Khaled's immediate and unconditional release.

Khaled's situation worsens

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Khaled's prison conditions have worsened, unfortunately. His wife, Sarah Attia, sent us this update today:

"Since Sunday [February 2, 2014] all family and lawyer visits in Khaled's section of Tora Prison have been denied. Nothing is allowed in and we have no idea how long they plan to continue with this. Some people say a week and others a month. We are just praying for them and hoping this ends soon."

Please take a moment to sign the petition to free Khaled and demand justice from the Egyptian regime. Also, please spread the word and get your friends and family to sign our petition.

There are other ways you can help in securing Khaled's release. Please refer to the 'How You Can Help' page on the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz website.

Update on Khaled's situation

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Khaled's wife, Sarah Attia, provides us with the latest on Khaled's situation in prison:

"On my visit to Khaled this week at Tora "Aqrab" Prison, he related to me the recent events that took place last Saturday morning at around 7:00am local time. He told me that prison security personnel raided his cell (and everyone else in his section) and completely removed everything from it, including all his personal belongings, clothing, boiler (his only source of hot water), and nonperishable food items (all that I had sent him). Many of the other political prisoners had their beds and blankets removed as well. His watch and the one pen he had were also taken. The cardboard that he had used to close the openings in the wall that brought in insects and cold air was torn down. Since then, the one hour outdoor time has been cancelled, and access to newspapers has been denied. And the one hot meal that we were providing him daily for the last few weeks has been cancelled and we have been told we can only bring it in once a week from now on. He has been given one prison uniform and the weekly visitations have been cut down to half the time. He has no idea what instigated this crack down that is another step of the continued injustice that he has been subjected to for the last 7 months. In spite of the conditions of his detainment, Khaled is in good spirit, and asks for your prayers for him, for all wrongfully detained people, and for Egypt."

Khaled's prison conditions

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

It has been 200 days since Khaled was detained by the Egyptian military. We have just received news of Khaled's conditions at the maximum security Tora Prison, also known as Aqrab ("Scorpion"), where he is being held in solitary confinement.

Khaled's prison cell is 2 x 2.6m, with an unsanitary, nonfunctioning toilet and sink. His prison cell is cold and damp. When Khaled first arrived, the room was bare except for two small blankets. This is all he had to keep him warm on December 17th, the coldest night of the year, where temperatures were around 40F/5C. 

There are blood stains and dead insects on the walls, a constant smell of sewage, and the cell is infested with mosquitoes, cockroaches and other insects. Khaled told his wife that the cold and insects are making it difficult for him to sleep.

There is no access to sunlight. There is only a small high window that opens into the hallway.  

Khaled was not allowed outside the prison cell for 21 days. He was given a copy of the Quran and clean underwear only after 7 days and received clean clothes from a lawyer after 10 days.

Please protest Khaled's appalling and inhumane conditions by signing our petition and calling for Khaled's immediate release.

Khaled moved to prison

Updates on KhaledSarah Attia

Khaled's wife, Sarah Attia, provides this update, more than five months after Khaled was illegally detained by the military in an undisclosed location:

"On Tuesday night, December 17, 2013, security forces transferred Khaled and two others from the republican guard to an unknown location pending fabricating political accusations against them.  The other two aides who were transferred are Abdelmageed Meshaly and Ameen Al­Serafy.  After efforts to locate where they were taken, I learned that Khaled is at Tora high security prison, in solitary confinement, with no charges yet to be announced and no access to legal aid or his required medication.

I hold security forces responsible for Khaled and the others safety and demand their unconditional immediate release."