May 17, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
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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