Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Press Release: 377 Days - July 15 Parliament Hill Press Conference: Leading Canadians Publish Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Ridwan Al-Nachawati

July 14, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

377 Days

July 15 Parliament Hill Press Conference:
Leading Canadians Publish Open Letter to 
Prime Minister Stephen Harper  
Requesting Action in the Case of Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Leading Canadian academics, lawyers, professionals, authors, artists, celebrities, writers, thinkers, activists and organizations have collectively endorsed an open letter requesting Prime Minister Harper’s prompt and meaningful action to secure the immediate release of Canadian permanent resident Khaled Al-Qazzaz.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz has been detained by the Egyptian military without charge since July 3, 2013 and is currently being held in solitary confinement in Tora Prison in Cairo. He is the longest held detainee since the July 2013 Egyptian military coup. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch characterize Khaled’s detainment as “enforced disappearance” under international law, recognizing it as a breach of human rights. Khaled is being held under inhumane conditions and his health is deteriorating rapidly.

A Parliament Hill Press Conference has been arranged ahead of publishing the letter, where leading Canadians committed to Khaled’s release are scheduled to speak. Roch Tasse, National Coordinator of the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, will host the conference. Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, will address Khaled’s illegal detainment. Writer and activist Dr. Monia Mazigh, will comment on the tragedy for Al-Qazzaz’s family. Also speaking will be Sarah Attia, Khaled’s Toronto-born wife, who will share the impact on her family.  The panel will respond to questions from media on Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s ordeal.

The press conference will be held at the Charles-Lynch Press Conference Room in Centre Block on Parliament Hill, on Tuesday July 15, 2014 at 10.30 am. The open letter and the list of signatories will be published on July 15, 2014.

haled’s health has deteriorated significantly and a recent medical report is showing his conditions may lead to paralysis and permanent disability if not treated immediately.

Recent Media:

The Star - Ottawa abandoned my friend in an Egyptian prison
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2014/07/13/ottawa_abandoned_my_friend_in_an_egyptian_prison.html

Rabble.ca - Khaled Al-Qazzaz' torment is an affront to liberal democracy
http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/views-expressed/2014/07/khaled-al-qazzaz-torment-affront-to-liberal-democracy

Interview Opportunities: 

Sarah Attia will be available in Ottawa on July 15 and 16, 2014 for interviews.

Call to Action

Postcard Campaign
Supporters of the Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz Campaign are calling on Canadians to mail postcards to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird.

Print and mail your postcard or use our online form and we will send it for you.
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/postcard-campaign/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 377 days. He has been held without charges for over 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 Al-Qazzaz is an acclaimed educator, youth activist, human rights champion and revolutionist. 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.

Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government for help for over two months but little progress has been made.

Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

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For more information:

Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com