May 23, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Canadian Government Must Take More Action
Sarah Attia, wife of Canadian permanent resident Khaled Al-Qazzaz who is currently detained in Egypt, will be speaking on Tuesday May 27, 2014 in Ottawa at a Parliamentary Conference organized by the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) in collaboration with Amnesty International Canada. The conference will document the current human rights situation in Egypt and discuss Canada-Egypt relations in this context.
Human rights organizations have all been denied access to Egyptian prisons. To date only families of the detained have witnessed the horrific situation inside Egypt’s most notorious prison.
Sarah will be speaking about Khaled's solitary confinement conditions as a testimony to the atrocities that she has witnessed in Tora prison over the last 10 months, before her return to Canada, and the role the Canadian government should be taking.
Canada can play an important role in ending the human rights violations that Khaled is experiencing and call on his safe return. Canada is in a unique position to shine a light on the injustice of the terrifying and tragic experience that Khaled and thousands of Egyptians are facing.
Update on Khaled’s Legal Situation
On May 17, 2014 Khaled Al-Qazzaz for the first time in 319 days appeared before a judge to rule on his release. Khaled was again extended for 45 days in solitary confinement. Neither the prosecution nor the judge provided any reasons for their decision.
This ruling is liable for appeal. On May 21, 2014 Khaled’s lawyers attempted to submit an appeal. The prosecutor’s office rejected the appeal citing that the prosecutor is on vacation for 10 days and to come back when he returns.
“Given the overall climate, I am concerned that it will be impossible for Khaled to be treated in a fair manner consistent with international standards. I am calling on our Canadian government to recognize the human rights violations and speak out against the lack of due process taking place in Egypt, which Canada considers as a bilateral partner in the Middle East” says Sarah Attia, wife 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 324 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.
Further information can be found at:
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For more information:
Date: Tuesday May 27 2014 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Place: Room 7-053, 131 Queen Street, Ottawa K1P
A presidential campaign is currently underway and Egyptians are called to cast their vote this May 27 and 28 2014. The panel will address the present human rights situation in Egypt and its impact on the democratic process. Subsequently, the panel will discuss the policy that Canada could adopt to reflect Canadian values in line with international covenants on human rights.
This conference shouldn’t be missed by anyone wanting to grasp the real political issues for Canada, Egypt and the Middle-East at this juncture.
For media access or further information:
Samaa Elibyari: firstname.lastname@example.org