May 14, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
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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