One Year has Passed Since Canadian Sarah Attia left Canada
to Bring her Husband Home
Just over a year ago, Canadian permanent-resident, Khaled Al-Qazzaz was released from an Egyptian prison after the Egyptian Attorney General ordered his immediate release. Khaled was arbitrarily detained in solitary confinement under inhumane conditions for 558 days without ever being charged or informed of the reasons of his detainment. His Canadian wife Sarah Attia, their four children and thousands of Canadians campaigned for over a year and a half to secure his release. Supporters remained persistent in advocating for Khaled’s release. The United Nations, the European Union and many governments intervened for Khaled’s freedom. The former Canadian government actively took ministerial level action to help reunite this family.
Due to Khaled’s medical conditions, exactly one year ago, Sarah booked a two-way flight to Egypt to accompany her husband home. Sarah and the children travelled to Egypt in hopes to bring Khaled home and to get him immediate medical attention. Campaign volunteers and supporters planned a large welcome home party for the family as their imminent return was expected two weeks later.
Khaled’s release still remains one step shy of true freedom. For a year Sarah, Khaled and their children have been dealing with one proverbial roadblock after another. Today they remain stranded in Egypt because the Egyptian Government has placed an arbitrary travel ban on Khaled.
Egyptian authorities have restricted Sarah over time including preventing her from travelling in the airport twice, confiscation of her limited funds, freezing her personal bank accounts and visa complications. Most of these restrictions still remain until today.
Through the lengthy #cndpoli election the family remained patient for months without any Canadian government action. New hope was found with the new government taking office but unfortunately their situation has lost the political momentum that existed prior to the elections.
Supporters and family members have been meeting Members of Parliament on a weekly basis including several Ministers since November. Over a thousand letters have been sent to 140 MPs across the country. Senators and MPs have visited the Egyptian Ambassador to Canada. Political advocacy has continued for three months but to no avail.
Today Sarah, Khaled and their children remain in Egypt without any timeline or sign of change. Sarah has attempted to reach out to the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs but has not received a response. Many solutions have been considered and attempted but it has become clear to the family and supporters that unless the Prime Minister himself chooses to take action this Canadian #KQFamily’s hope of ever coming home diminishes with each day.