January 12, 2015
Khaled Al-Qazzaz Released After 558 Days
“Khaled was finally released after 558 days detained without charge The Attorney General has cleared him of any accusations and the investigation is now closed and he is a free man. While it has been a difficult journey for my children and I, we are grateful to all those who have assisted in his release.” (Sarah Attia)
“We are all so happy, but it’s not over until he’s home with me and our children,” (Sarah Attia)
"I'm not a politician, I'm just a wife and a mother and I'm just happy my husband is released and I hope we can be reunited soon.” (Sarah Attia)
“I would not be celebrating today if it was not for the thousands of supporters in Canada and across the world who have stood by me advocating for Khaled’s freedom. Some of them I know and most of them I don’t know, but I am forever grateful to them all.” (Sarah Attia)
“When baba comes can we celebrate his two birthdays that we missed?” (Amena, 6 years old daughter)
- On Monday December 29, 2014 the Attorney General issued an order for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s release. The active investigation is now closed no charges will be proffered.
- On January 11, 2015 at 8:30 am EST the decision was implemented and he was physically released from the hospital.
- Sarah continues to advocate until Khaled returns to his home in Canada and is reunited with his children, where he can receive the urgent medical care he needs.
Who is Khaled Al-Qazzaz:
- Khaled Al-Qazzaz is a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children
- Khaled and Sarah moved to Egypt to start a social innovation project in education in 2005. They opened a school and placed the respect of human rights and freedoms at the core of the school’s curriculum.
- Khaled is an acclaimed educator, youth activist and a human rights champion. 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.
- After the revolution in Egypt, Khaled quickly became recognized as someone who understood and valued democracy. His tireless commitment to promoting democratic values in Egypt led Khaled to the opportunity of a staff position in Egypt’s first democratically-elected president’s office. Khaled was not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. He joined the Freedom and Justice Party.
- In 2012, Khaled was appointed as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the Presidential office where his focus was foreign relations, human rights and women's rights.
The Star – Canadian resident Khaled Al-Qazzaz freed after 558 days
CBC –Khaled Al-Qazzaz reportedly released from custody in Egypt
Huffington Post Canada (by The Canadian Press) - Khaled Al-Qazzaz, Canadian Resident, Released After More Than A Year In Egyptian Custody
The Mississauga News – Mississauga woman’s husband freed in Cairo after 18 months, says family
Middle East Eye - Former Morsi aide released from prison in Egypt
Yahoo News (by AFP) – Egypt frees ailing Morsi aide: Canadian family
Reuters – Former aide to ousted Egyptian president Mursi released from jail: relatives
Further information can be found at:
- Khaled was detained on July 3, 2013 alongside other aides of President Morsi and held for 5.5 months in an undisclosed location.
- On December 1, 2013, Human Rights Watch issued a statement that said Khaled and four others “remain detained without any legal basis at an undisclosed location.” Soon after that statement, Khaled was moved to the maximum security section of Tora prison in solitary confinement.
- Khaled remained in Tora from December 17, 2013 to October 26, 2014 in solitary confinement in a cramped insect-infested cell slightly larger than a broom closet in one of Egypt’s most notorious prisons.
- During this period Khaled's health deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and became at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care.
- On October 26, 2014 he was transferred to a hospital for surgery. Although he has been in a hospital for two months, he has only received basic medical attention that has not resolved the underlying threat to his health.
- From the start of this ordeal, Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government and international community to urgently assist in securing Khaled’s immediate release.
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For more information: