PRESS RELEASE: Immediate Release
April 4, 2014
Canadian mother of four campaigns for her husband, a Canadian resident being held
without charge in Egyptian prison
Sarah Attia, wife of Khaled Al Qazzaz, a Canadian permanent resident who has been unjustly detained by the Egyptian military regime for over 270 days without any criminal charges lodged against him, will be in Canada from Tuesday April 8th to Sunday April 27th. Sarah is seeking the help of the Canadian government and public to ensure that Khaled is provided with basic human rights and humane conditions.
Khaled, a University of Toronto graduate, is being detained simply because he was a civil servant at the time when the military coup took place. “Khaled was arrested on July 3, 2013,” says Sarah. “This is over 270 days ago, and still he hasn’t been charged with any crime. He is being held in the notorious Aqrab (Scorpion) wing of Tora Prison.” She continued, “My husband spends his days and nights in solitary confinement. For 23 hours of the day, he sits in a concrete prison cell without access to clothes, medicine, books, or even a way to tell time. His health is deteriorating.”
Sarah describes how her efforts over the last nine months in urging his detainers to improve the inhumane conditions of his imprisonment have fallen on deaf ears. His concrete cell does not even have a mattress, pillow, or blankets, and he is not even allowed to receive these from his family.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch characterize his detention as “enforced disappearance” under international law, recognizing it as a breach of human rights.
During Sarah’s visit the Friends of Khaled Campaign are planning several events to raise public awareness of his plight.
- Only a couple weeks ago we heard of the sentencing of 592 persons in Minya, Egypt to death by the current military regime. Although this event received some media attention, it is only one example of the many human rights abuses that are currently experienced by the millions of Egyptian people who are opposed to the military regime that came into power after the July 3, 2013 coup.
- Since then, thousands of innocent civilians who have taken to the streets in peaceful protest of the coup have been targeted and killed by Egyptian security forces, or arrested without charge only to be faced after the fact with clearly politicized charges.
- Journalists, like Mohammad Fahmy, and foreigners, like Peter Greste, have not been spared and have been in detention for months without due process.
- The majority of the 23,000 who are currently unjustly detained in Egyptian prisons are suffering emotional abuse, mental abuse, and torture. Many have no access to lawyers. Others spend their days and nights in solitary confinement.
For media inquiries:
Contact Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, and a volunteer for the Friends of Khaled Campaign, Toronto, ON, firstname.lastname@example.org, 647-292-5049.
For more details about:
Khaled Al-Qazzaz visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/faq/
Friends of Khaled visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/
Press Package visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/media-inquiries/