NDP human rights critic Wayne Marston raised a question in the House of Commons regarding Khaled's case earlier today (April 28, 2014). Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, responded by saying that Canada cannot provide Khaled with consular services since he is a Canadian resident and not a citizen.
Please write to Minister Baird at firstname.lastname@example.org and express your disappointment in his response and demand that the Canadian government should be doing more to secure Khaled's release and reunite him with his Canadian wife and children. Please CC your MP on the email as well.
You can use the sample letter below as a template:
Dear Hon. John Baird,
It has come to my attention that Khaled Al-Qazzaz was brought up in the question period of the April 28, 2014 parliamentary session. Your response was as follows:
“We are aware of a permanent resident of Canada who is currently detained in Egypt. Although Canada cannot provide consular services in this case, because the individual is not a Canadian citizen, our mission in Egypt has been in contact with his wife and with the local authorities to assist as appropriate.”
In light of the rampant violence, abuse and mass imprisonment of Egyptians by the Egyptian regime, I do not believe that this is an adequate response. Especially taking into consideration the recent mass death sentence passed on over 600 imprisoned Egyptians at once, it has become clear that the Egyptian justice system is inhumane and will not provide Khaled with a fair or speedy trial. After all, despite being detained for 10 months, he has still not been charged with any crime.
Khaled's wife, Sarah Attia, and their four children are Canadian citizens. They are directly affected by the illegal and inhumane treatment of Khaled and are counting on their government to help their family at this difficult time.
Mr. Baird, your position as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and your recent trip to Egypt make you responsible for bringing to light the massive injustice being committed against Khaled Al-Qazzaz. Canada must join Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in denouncing Khaled's illegal and unjust detention and demand that he be released to his Canadian family.
Canada has long been held in esteem around the world for promoting tolerance, justice and equality. I cannot accept that Canada is unable to do more or take a stronger stand on the injustice against Khaled Al-Qazzaz.
I await your response and urge you to take action on this important matter.