June 19, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Abdullah Al-Shami's Release Raises Hope for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Family
On Monday, Egypt's Prosecutor-General ordered the release of Abdullah Al- Shami and 12 other people pending trial into violence-related charges. In a statement, the Prosecutor-General attributed the move for the "health conditions" of the defendants.
“I am so relieved for Abdullah Al-Shami, his wife and his family. We were so concerned for his life. I hope this is a sign that the Egyptian authorities are beginning to show basic respect for human rights. I hope this is a sign that Khaled may receive justice on July 1” says Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz Canadian-born wife.
Due to worsening conditions, medical attention has been requested for Khaled Al-Qazzaz. Physicians have issued a report that his health is deteriorating quickly.
The report has listed three critical findings. Due to confinement in his small cell, Khaled is experiencing extrinsic pressure on his nerve root impacting his left arm, which has now become partially immobile. Sleeping conditions have resulted in Khaled enduring significant pain in his knee which can lead to long term impacts or possibly surgery if conditions persist. Khaled is also experiencing continuous high blood pressure and if not controlled can lead to a fatal heart attack.
Khaled has not been charged, yet he has been placed in the maximum-security wing of Torah prison, one of the worst prisons in Egypt, and forced to remain in isolated solitary confinement in 45C of sweltering heat for 352 days.
By now, it should be clear to the Canadian government and the international community that Khaled is innocent of any wrong doing and the cruel conditions he is facing should be stopped.
July 1, 2014 is the day for Khaled to be given justice and released. July 1, 2014 is the day for Khaled to come home. The Canadian government and the international community should demand Egypt to respect human rights, freedom and the rule of law, and release Khaled immediately and unconditionally.
TheStar.com has published an opinion piece by Riad Salojee, a Canadian-South African lawyer and teacher.
“The world should demand the release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz”
Sarah is available for interviews to discuss the July 3rd military coup anniversary, the ordeal that her family continues to live through and the future of her husband’s release given the current climate in Egypt. If you would like to interview her, please get in touch with us through the information below.
For the July 1, 2014 court appearance, any Cairo correspondents interested in attending should contact our team to receive details of time, location and other information.
Call to Action
Supports 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 own postcard!
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) and the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) have expressed their support to the campaign and have expressed concern over Khaled’s continued detainment.
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 over 352 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.
Further information can be found at:
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