June 3, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Court of Appeal Refuses Lawyer's Request for Release
Khaled Al-Qazzaz appeared in court today behind the defendant’s cage of the courtroom in Cairo. Family and media were denied access to the hearing. The hearing was not monitored by any Canadian or international delegates. The lawyers appealed for Khaled’s release on the grounds of unlawful detainment without charge and his increased health concerns as a result of the detainment. The Egyptian court of appeal refused the request that Khaled be released without providing any reasons.
Based on the original decision to extend Khaled’s detainment for 45 days, Khaled will not see another judge until July 1, 2014.
On May 23, 2014, Amnesty International issued a report on key human rights concerns ahead of presidential elections. They have stated that “the Prosecution has ordered the continued detention of many of those arrested, pending criminal investigation, but without formal charges. Some have faced months of such preventive detention.” They also reported that “aide Khaled al-Qazzaz does not face criminal charges, despite months in detention.”
On May 30, 2014, 11 human rights organizations issued a joint letter addressing the situation of human rights in Egypt at the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council. In the letter they state “recent judicial practices cast serious doubts on the independence of the judicial system and on its ability to ensure accountability.”
“There must be an end in sight. Loss of hope is not an option for my family and I. Our Canadian government must take concrete steps to bring Khaled home. Canada has an obligation to demand that the protection of human rights is a priority on the agenda of the new president and government. It is time that Khaled be released,” says Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz Canadian-born wife.
Sarah is available for interviews to discuss the ordeal that her family continues to live through and the future of her husband’s release given the current climate in Egypt.
Call to Action
The Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign is calling on friends and supporters to sign our online change.org petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/free-khaled-al-qazzaz
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Global Exchange, Code Pink and the UN HRC are all supporting the immediate release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.
Globe and Mail, The Star, CBC and CTV have all published stories on Khaled’s detainment.
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 335 days. He 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 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 has been calling on the Canadian government for help for two months but little progress has been made.
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