Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

#FREEKQ Statement - Hon. Minister Stéphane Dion welcomes Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Ahmad Attia

Ottawa: Sarah Attia and Khaled Al-Qazzaz were welcomed by the Honorable Minister Stéphane Dion and his team this week in his office at Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa. They thanked Minister Dion for the diplomatic leadership he showed to bring the family home. They discussed the impact of his intervention and that by reuniting their four young children with their father in Canada, he has reestablished their sense of family, security, happiness, and has given them a new start. Khaled and Sarah also recognized MP and Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra's dedication, and that of his staff, to bring this case to an end.

The family also shared with the Minister the progress of their new foundation, the Al-Qazzaz Foundation for Education and Development, where they hope to give back to Canada and the world. The foundation will focus on delivering  services and support to disadvantaged communities through innovative online technologies and will launch its first project for Syrian Refugees who have arrived in Canada. By offering cultural awareness, English language services, and mental health support, Sarah and Khaled hope to contribute to the great work the Canadian government started one year ago.

The couple were also welcomed at Parliament Hill by Members of Parliament Arnold Chan, Gary Anandasangaree, Hélène Laverdière and Hon. Senators Mobina Jaffer, Salma Ataullahjan, and Anne Cools who worked very hard to reunite them. The family is grateful to officials across all party lines who intervened to reunite the family and bring Khaled home.

The trip was completed by visits to human rights activists including ICLMG National Coordinator Monia Mazigh, Rideau Institute's Peggy Mason and Gar Pardy, CJFE's Duncan Pike, human rights lawyer Paul Champ, child rights advocate Tara Collins, Amnesty Canada Director Alex Neve and others.

The family expresses their gratitude to all Canadians, human rights activists, journalists, and government officials who dedicated their time and effort to resolving ordeals of Canadian families abroad.

1015 Days | Press Release: Human Rights Groups Urge the Canadian Government to bring Al-Qazzaz Family Home

Kayria Taghdi

Human Rights Groups Urge the Canadian Government to bring Al-Qazzaz Family Home

 

Ottawa, April 12th 2016

 

Today, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International and Children’s Rights Expert and Assistant Professor Tara Collins of Ryerson University held a press conference in Parliament Hill to call on the Honourable Prime Minister to intervene on behalf of four Canadian children.

On March 7th 2016, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Amnesty International, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, Code Pink, Homes Not Bombs, The Group of 78, The Rideau Institute, Toronto Action for Social Change, and UNIFOR sent a letter to the Honourable Prime Minister in his capacity of Minister of Youth to intervene on behalf of the four Canadian children.

 

Letter to Prime Minister Trudeau

 

"We appeal to you in your capacity as Minister of Youth. This case involves four innocent Canadian children aged 3, 5, 7 and 9 whose safety is at risk. These children need to heal from the trauma they have endured when their father, Khaled Al-Qazzaz, was taken away from them and held for 558 days solitary confinement,” said the joint letter.

“The Al-Qazzaz family is loved by thousands of Canadians who have actively advocated for them to return home to Canada during the last two years through rallies, post cards, petitions, letter, emails and phone calls.“

 

Press Conference Video

 

Monia Mazigh, National Coordinator of the ICLMG:

“So far, we didn’t receive any reply. This is unacceptable. The fate of four Canadian children as well as their mother’s and dad’s are in the hands of the Canadian government and the government is not responding!”

“Today this family faces a huge dilemma. They have to choose between bad and worse. They have to choose between staying in Egypt together or may be coming to Canada and be separated.”

“Fortunately, there is a third choice: Canada’s intervention. Canada using its new ‘Responsible Conviction’ principle to show Canadians and the world, that we act responsibly when tragedy like this one happens. We act responsibly, swiftly and with strong conviction so that human rights are respected.”

 

Alex Neve, General Secretary of Amnesty International Canada:

“Khaled AL-Qazzaz, Sarah Attia and their four young children have been trapped in a frightening and confusing labyrinth of human rights violations, injustice, secrecy and fear in Egypt for nearly three years now.”

“He needs to be sure that the Canadian government is sparing no effort to resolve his case and bring him home. His wife, Sarah Attia, and their four young children all Canadian citizens are suffering alongside their husband and father. His fear is their fear, his suffering is their suffering, and his inability to leave Egypt stands in the way of their return to Canada as well. The Canadian government must intervene actively on their behalf to insist their rights are fully protected including their freedom of movement and their rights to family life.”

“This has to end! And that requires strong action from the Canadian government at senior levels including from foreign affairs Minister Stephane Dion insisting that this family be allowed to return to home to Canada.”

 

Tara Collins, Children’s Rights Expert and Assistant Professor:

“Four of these children need to be remembered in this situation. They are living a life of instability and fear not knowing what is going to happen to their father with imminent risk of future harm as well as the fact that their family could be torn apart again. It is incredibly important that the Government of Canada respond appropriately to the provisions of international law and specifically the convention on the rights of the child to think and act and respond to the children's best interest.”

“I urge the government of Canada to pay attention to the images of these four children and respond to them. They need their parents. They need the peace and security that Canada can offer.”

 

Ahmad Attia, family member:

“I could never imagine that one day our family, who has given so much to our country, would find ourselves in many ways abandoned by our government. While the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt has worked relentlessly to resolve this, here in Ottawa little has been done escalate the matter.”

“The Canadian government has asked us to bring Sarah and the children home, leaving Khaled behind. But I cannot comprehend the impact on the children when they are split from their father again - not knowing when and if Khaled will ever be able to join them. The Canadian Government has a moral and legal responsibility to protect the rights of these children and facilitate their safe return with their father. “

“I have been urging the Canadian government to intervene for months to end this ordeal but to no avail. Today I am holding the Canadian government responsible for their safety. There are no legal barriers - Khaled did not commit any crime and was never charged. The resolution boils down to political will.”

 

The joint letter by human rights groups concluded with a final ask to the Prime Minister:

“Canadians are waiting for you to bring a resolution to this problem. Prime Minister, on behalf of thousands of Canadians across the country whose hearts have been touched by the family, we implore you to everything in your power to help end this ordeal and bring this family home."

 

Media Interviews:

Ahmad Attia

Sarah’s brother

647-292-5049

ahmad.attia@gmail.com

 

Monia Mazigh

National coordinator

International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

(613) 241-5298

national.coordination@iclmg.ca

 

Nadia Abu-Zahra

Associate Professor

School of International Development and Global Studies

University of Ottawa

Friend of Sarah and Khaled

1-613-562-5800 ext. 6787

nabuzahr@uottawa.ca

 

Hadayt Nazami

Family Legal Counsel: Jackman Nazami & Associates

Barrister and Solicitor

416-627-4379

hadayt@rogers.com

 

Dr. Mohamed Fadel

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law

University of Toronto

416-946-0589

mohammad.fadel@utoronto.ca

 

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans

Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry

University of Toronto

Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor

416-978-1821

greg.evans@utoronto.ca

 

Further contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.

 

Please more information visit:

http://www.freekq.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_al-Qazzaz

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

Twitter: @FreeKhaledAQ

947 Days - One Year has Passed Since Canadian Sarah Attia left Canada to Bring her Husband Home

Ahmad Attia

947 Days

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.

 

Latest Media

Protection charter hopefully triggers 'higher degree of intervention' for family stuck in Egypt

939 Days - Canadian Sarah Attia Joins Human Rights Organizations and Activists to Call On The Canadian Government to do more for Families of Prisoners Detained Abroad, Including her own

Ahmad Attia

Canadian citizen Sarah Attia spent over a year and a half fighting for her husband’s freedom. She has spent the last twelve  months, however, fighting for her entire family’s freedom. Sarah, her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz and their four Canadian children feel stranded in Egypt and cannot return until a travel ban placed on Khaled is removed.

 

Khaled has very strong ties to Canada. He first came to Canada in 2000 and completed his Masters of Applied Sciences degree at the University of Toronto. He was a community mobilizer who passionately worked for social causes.  He met and married Canadian born Sarah Attia. Khaled had nearly completed his citizenship requirements prior to moving to Egypt where he and Sarah worked on an educational project.The footprint he left behind in Canada resulted in thousands of Canadians advocating for his release and return home to Canada.

 

Sarah is a signatory to the "Protection Charter" released this week by Amnesty International and the Fahmy Foundation, which includes a list of principles meant to guide the Canadian government on how best to strengthen and improve its protections of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those with close Canadian connections. The #KQFamily ordeal is a perfect example to illustrate Canada’s responsibility towards its citizens and permanent residents with strong ties to Canada.

 

Over a thousand emails have been sent to members of parliament since December 2015 encouraging the Canadian government to intervene at the highest levels of Egyptian government for the safe return of the young Canadian family back home to Canada.

 

Media Interviews

Ahmad Attia
Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Monia Mazigh
National coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group
(613) 241-5298
national.coordination@iclmg.ca

Nadia Abu-Zahra
Associate Professor
School of International Development and Global Studies
University of Ottawa
Friend of Sarah and Khaled
1­613­562­5800 ext. 6787
nabuzahr@uottawa.ca.

Dr. Mohamed Fadel
Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law
University of Toronto
416-946-0589
mohammad.fadel@utoronto.ca

Erna Paris
Author, Historian, Journalist
Sarah Attia’s friend and supporter

Prof. Dr. Greg Evans
Dept. of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
University of Toronto
Sarah Attia Undergraduate and Master’s Supervisor
416-978-1821
greg.evans@utoronto.ca

Furher contact info for the above individuals can be provided by Ahmad Attia at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com.

 

862 Days – FREEKQ - Elections in Canada and Egypt Represent Hope for Ending #KQFamily Ordeal

Ahmad Attia

November 11, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

862 Days

Elections in Canada and Egypt
Represent Hope for Ending #KQFamily Ordeal

 

 

This month new parliamentarians have been elected in Canada and Egypt.  Both Parliaments represent change and a step forward for each country. With these political developments, the #KQFamily are hopeful that their ordeal will finally come to an end.

 

A recent Human Rights Watch report cited Khaled’s ongoing ordeal. Khaled Al-Qazzaz, Sarah Attia, and their children, have found themselves in limbo after being prevented from leaving Egypt by Cairo Airport Authorities, and most recently being informed that a travel ban has been issued by the Prosecutor General.  Lawyers are disputing the travel ban as it has no legal basis, is unconstitutional, and is against international law.  It is hoped that the new Egyptian Parliament will bring a stop to these travel bans immediately and call on the Prosecutor General to reverse this decision.

 

The #KQFamily struggle is a concern for tens of thousands of Canadians who advocated the previous government through petitions, letters, visits to Members of Parliament, and calls to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade & Development. An open letter was sent to the former Prime Minister signed by over 100 leading Canadian academics, lawyers, professionals, authors, artists, celebrities, writers, thinkers, activists and Canadian organizations.  Over 15 human rights organizations have issued reports or statements regarding Khaled’s case. It is hoped that this wide support is recognised by the incoming government.

 

Supporters have high expectations of the Honorable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his new Cabinet to intervene and bring an end to this 28 months long ordeal. The #KQFamily struggle is a humanitarian and non-partisan human rights case.  “We call on the new government to swiftly continue the efforts of the previous government who took concrete steps to resolve this matter,” says Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother.

 

Sarah calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Authorities to urgently resolve the unfortunate state of affairs facing her and her family as they all yearn to return home to Canada. The family needs to get their lives back and for Khaled to receive the urgent medical attention in Canada.

- 30 –

 

#cndpoli #onpoli #Egypt #Canada #Canadian #Egyptians

@JustinTrudeau @CanadaFP @ModernEgypt @EgyArmySpox @MfaEgypt @egyptisspecial ‏@moiegy @egyptgovportal

849 Days – FREEKQ – Egyptian Authorities Issue Travel Ban and Family Submits UN Urgent Appeal

Ahmad Attia

October 29, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

849 Days

Egyptian Authorities Issue Travel Ban and
Family Submits UN Urgent Appeal

 

 

Khaled Al-Qazzaz and Sarah Attia have been anxiously waiting for an administrative court hearing for a complaint submitted to dispute prevention of their travel by airport authorities on both March 5th and April 16th 2015.  Since filing the complaint on June 4th, 2015, the hearing has been delayed twice.  The most recent hearing was scheduled for October 27th, 2015, where it was hoped that a judge would grant the family safe return to Canada. Instead, #KQFamily were shocked to find out that the Ministry of Interior submitted an affidavit back-dated to June 25, 2015 indicating that Canadian permanent resident Al-Qazzaz is now under a travel ban by the prosecutor general. The ban did not exist at the time the family was stopped from travel earlier this year.  Rather, its arbitrary date falls two and a half months after their attempt to leave Egypt, and twenty one days after the complaint was filed. This travel ban is unconstitutional, arbitrary, and is not based on legal grounds. Furthermore, Khaled is not under investigation and there are no accusations against him. Neither Khaled, his lawyers, nor the Canadian mission were notified about the travel ban until immediately prior to the court hearing. At the court hearing on October 27th, Khaled’s lawyers submitted requests challenging this new travel ban. The court deferred the hearing again to a future date.

 

In response to this unlawful travel ban, the campaign has submitted an Urgent Appeal to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UN Special Rapporteurs. The family has asked the UN bodies to take immediate and urgent steps to intervene and call on Egypt, a state party to the UN HRC, to remove this travel ban and allow Khaled, Sarah and their four children to return to Canada.

 

Khaled is neither accused nor convicted with any wrongdoing and he is not under investigation by authorities. His block from leaving Egypt is clearly in violation of international treaties that Egypt is a party to.  Egypt must comply with the right to freedom of movement as contained in articles 12 and 13 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

 

The actions of the Airport Authorities, the Ministry of Interior and the Prosecutor General have impacted Khaled’s ability to access the required medical care needed as a direct result of the solitary confinement detainment he was subjected to for just under two years. To date, he has missed three scheduled admissions to a Canadian hospital.

 

“This travel ban is certainly a setback. After two years of campaigning for Khaled’s release, it is alarming that 10 months after being freed Khaled, Sarah and thousands of Canadian supporters are still fighting to end this ordeal. There is a lot of work required to help the family overcome the trauma of this experience. But, we can’t do this until they are safe and sound in Canada,” says Ahmad Attia, Sarah Attia’s brother.

 

Family and supporters are hopeful that the new Prime Minister-Designate Justin Trudeau will champion bringing Sarah and her family home.

 

Media

 

Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.

 

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

 

Background

 

Please visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khaled_al-Qazzaz for background information.

 

Further information can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz

@FreeKhaledAQ

 

- 30 –

#cndpoli #onpoli #Egypt #Canada #Canadian #Egyptians

@JustinTrudeau @CanadaFP @ModernEgypt @EgyArmySpox @MfaEgypt @egyptisspecial ‏@moiegy @egyptgovportal

 

750 Days – FREEKQ – Canadian Supporters Break the Silence to Bring Sarah and her Family Home Before School

Ahmad Attia

July 22, 2015

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

750 Days

Canadian Supporters Break the Silence to Bring
Sarah and her Family Home Before School

After 542 days of campaigning, on January 11 2015, Egyptian Authorities released Khaled Al-Qazzaz without ever charging him, and cleared him of any investigations.  Sarah Attia, his Canadian-born wife and their four children, booked a two-way Toronto-Cairo flight in February with the intention to bring Khaled home and reunite their family two weeks later. It has been five months since his release and Sarah, Khaled and the children have not been able to leave Egypt.

 

The family attempted to travel on April 15, 2015 and after seven hours of detainment by airport authorities they were blocked from leaving the country and returned back into Cairo. Khaled’s passport and Sarah’s money were confiscated and have not been returned to them. The Egyptian Prosecutor’s office has confirmed repeatedly that the family is not on a travel ban.

 

The family has chosen to remain patient hoping that their safe return to Canada could be arranged through diplomatic efforts. Sarah and Khaled believe it is just a matter of time before the situation is cleared up by Egyptian Authorities and they can return home.

 

However, given the time that has elapsed, supporters have insisted on reengaging with the campaign and to publicly advocate for Canadian authorities to offer additional efforts to bring the family home - #Home4School.

 

Friends of the #KQFamily have launched a new campaign, independent of Sarah and Khaled, to urge the Canadian government to intervene and make sure that the entire family is home in August in time for the new school year.  Their children - Abulrahman, Amena, Fatema and Tahrir, have missed school for long enough.  Also, Khaled's medical situation persists.

 

Friends of Sarah and Khaled are very troubled and hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. They also hope that the funds confiscated from Sarah will be returned to her as it is required for Khaled’s medical treatment and the family’s living expenses.

 

“Sarah has informed me that the Canadians are helping her and her family and it is just a matter of time. But we believe it’s not enough. Khaled has been released and for five months has been extremely respectful of the Egyptian system and therefore there should be no reason for this Canadian family to live in limbo and to continue to face this ordeal,” says Asma Ali, a university peer and close friend of Sarah and Khaled. 

 

Media

Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.

Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or ahmad.attia@gmail.com for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.

 

 

653 Days – FREEKQ – Khaled and his Canadian family allowed to leave Airport after 7 Hours

Ahmad Attia

April 16, 2015

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

653 Days

Khaled and his Canadian family allowed to leave Airport after 7 Hours

 

 

Sarah, Khaled and their four children were held by Airport Security Services for over seven hours. At 5:45 am they were granted permission to leave the airport and return to their Cairo house. During the entire period the family’s passports were taken and the family was not allowed to leave the customs area. It was particularly difficult for the children to go through this ordeal. Khaled is in a lot of pain due to his medical condition. 

 

Khaled’s passport was confiscated by Airport Authorities. Sarah had reported to the officers the amount that she was carrying, which was below the allowed undeclared limit for her and her 4 children. The customs officers confirmed that she had not passed the allowed limit; nevertheless, they chose to confiscate it. During this ordeal no reasons were given as to why they were blocked from travel or for confiscating the money.

 

The family and their legal team had formally notified all relevant authorities of their travel plans to return home to Canada and Khaled’s medical arrangements ahead of their travel. They received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that Khaled is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel.  

 

Khaled’s health condition is deteriorating quickly and he is in need of immediate medical intervention. Admission to a Canadian hospital had been arranged and Khaled was to be admitted immediately on arrival. The family is very troubled and we hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. We also hope that the funds confiscated from Sarah will be returned to her as it is required for Khaled’s medical treatment and the family’s living expenses.

 

“I hope that our family’s ordeal does not continue. We only want to go home, get our life back on track, start a journey of healing for our entire family, and resume our passion in education ”, Sarah Attia. 

 

Recent Health Update

 

Canadian physicians have been consulted regarding recent MRI reports. Khaled’s imaging report corroborates multiple areas of concern in his cervical and lumbar spine. Khaled is at risk of suffering irreversible damage to his spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Without treatment he is in danger of permanent paralysis.

 

Khaled’s family has arranged admission to a Canadian hospital immediately upon his arrival.

652 Days – FREEKQ – Khaled and His Family Prevented from Traveling

Ahmad Attia

652 Days 

Khaled and His Family Prevented from Traveling

Family Indefinitely Held in Egyptian Airport, Medical Care Savings Confiscated and Family is Very Distressed

 

This evening as Sarah, Khaled and their four children were leaving to go home, the family was stopped at Cairo International Airport by Airport Security Services and told they would not be allowed to travel.  For the last six hours they have been held without any indication of when they will be allowed to go home. Their passports have been taken and Sarah’s savings intended for Khaled’s medical care costs have been confiscated.

 

Over the last few months Khaled has worked diligently and respectfully to ensure that all his travel documents are in order. Khaled has received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that he is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel. The family and the legal team had formally notified all relevant authorities with their travel plans and Khaled’s medical arrangements.

 

There has been no explanation by Airport Security Services as to why the family is currently being held.  Prior to travel, Khaled’s lawyers confirmed that he is not on a travel ban list.  Thus, the actions of the Airport Security Services at Cairo International Airport are inconsistent with the clearances provided to the family.

 

Sarah and Khaled’s family and friends are very concerned at this time.  Khaled is in need of urgent medical care.    Sarah and the children are extremely exhausted and distressed by the current circumstances.

 

Khaled and Sarah hope that Egyptian Authorities will cooperate to clear this matter to facilitate a smooth exit from Egypt immediately. Sarah is in contact with Canadian authorities who have been assisting her and the children. Sarah and her children are all Canadian citizens and Khaled is a Canadian permanent resident.

 

“The children are very overwhelmed and this has been a very difficult experience for all of us. We had hoped to celebrate with friends and family in the morning. We will continue to communicate with the necessary Egyptian and Canadian authorities to confirm immediate and safe travels. I look forward to catching the next flight to Toronto,” says Sarah Attia.

652 Days – FREEKQ - Khaled’s Travel Documents Issued and He’s Coming Home for Surgery

Ahmad Attia

652 Days 

Khaled’s Travel Documents Issued and He’s Coming Home for Surgery 

The family of Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a Mississauga resident, is extremely delighted that he has finally received all necessary identification and travel documents from Canadian and Egyptian authorities. His Canadian wife, Sarah Attia, and four children had traveled to Egypt in February to accompany him and help with his medical condition until he is was cleared to travel for his surgery in Canada.

Based on the most recent assessment of Canadian and Egyptian physicians, Khaled’s health condition is deteriorating quickly and he is in need of immediate medical intervention. Khaled has severe problems with his spine, specifically with 7 discs in his neck and lower back, resulting in very limited mobility, constant pain and decreasing use of his limbs. Physicians have advised that if he does not receive prompt and appropriate medical treatment the symptoms may lead to permanent paralysis. Khaled received a preparatory surgery in a private hospital in Cairo in January and is still recovering from this surgery.

Khaled’s family has made all the necessary arrangements for admission to a hospital in Ontario. Khaled and his family are scheduled to arrive in Toronto on Thursday April 16.

Khaled has received confirmations from legal authorities in Egypt that he is cleared from all accusations, not under investigation and is not banned from travel. The family, and the legal team, has formally notified all relevant authorities with their travel plans and Khaled’s medical arrangements.

“We have patiently waited for Khaled’s travel documents and now we are delighted that he can return home. I am hopeful that the Egyptian and Canadian authorities will continue to assist in our safe return,” says Sarah Attia.

 

Recent Health Update

Canadian physicians have been consulted regarding recent MRI reports. Khaled’s imaging report corroborates multiple areas of concern in his cervical and lumbar spine. Khaled is at risk of suffering irreversible damage to his spine, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Without treatment he is in danger of permanent paralysis.

Khaled’s family has arranged admission to a Canadian hospital immediately upon his arrival.

558 Days - Khaled Al-Qazzaz Finally Released and Looking Forward to being Reunited with Wife and Children

Sarah Attia

January 11, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

558 Days 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz Finally Released and Looking Forward to Being Reunited with Wife and Children

On Monday December 29, 2014 the Attorney General issued an order for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s release. Today, Khaled was released from his hospital room.
 
Today Khaled and his family are extremely elated and grateful for his release.
 
While we celebrate Khaled's freedom, we remain very concerned about his health and reuniting him with his wife, Sarah Attia and their four children in Canada.
 
Khaled and Sarah are praying for his speedy return to Canada. “We are all so happy, but It’s not over until he’s home with me and our children,” said Sarah. The family has already raised the funds and made the arrangements necessary for him to receive appropriate medical care.  We are hopeful that the Egyptian and Canadian governments will expedite the processing of this humanitarian case so that Khaled can finally come home.
 
Most importantly, on such a joyous day Khaled and Sarah are forever grateful to friends and supporters.

553 Days – FREEKQ - Khaled Al-Qazzaz Release Order Issued

Ahmad Attia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

553 Days 

Khaled Al-Qazzaz Release Order Issued 

 

On Monday December 29, 2014 the Attorney General issued an order for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s release.  This means that his case file has been closed and no charges will be proffered. After 18 months, Khaled and his family were extremely elated and grateful for this news.

 

Khaled’s legal team in Egypt has been working diligently with local authorities to effect his release and have successfully processed all necessary release paperwork. It has been 8 days since the release order was issued, and while the family has been advised that a release normally occurs within 2 to 3 days, they remain optimistic that formalities will be rapidly concluded and Khaled’s detention will soon come to a close.

 

We remain very troubled about Khaled’s health. He is due for a number of medical operations to address his deteriorating health conditions caused by the period spent in solitary confinement. Yesterday Khaled completed his first surgery and he is currently recovering.  With the news of his release, the hope is for subsequent operations to take place in a hospital of his choice with Canadian standards of care.

 

We are grateful to all those working towards Khaled's immediate release and acknowledge the efforts of those working to expedite the processing of this humanitarian case so that Khaled can finally come home to his wife and children in Canada.

 

“My children and I are very happy and excited. We hope that Khaled will be with us soon, get the medical care he needs, and put his life back together,” says Sarah Attia, his Canadian-born wife.

539 Days - FREEKQ –Khaled Al-Qazzaz Detainment Renewed while Pay-It-Forward Grows

Ridwan Al-Nachawati

December 23, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

539 Days
Khaled Al-Qazzaz Detainment Renewed while Pay-It-Forward Grows

Family and friends have been praying that they would celebrate news of Khaled Al-Qazzaz's release today.  Unfortunately, Khaled continues to be arbitrarily detained without charge. The presiding judge decided to renew Khaled's detainment for another 45 days.
 
After 1 year, 5 months and 21 days, Khaled continues to be the longest detained political prisoner in Egypt. It is clear that a change in the political intervention and diplomacy of Canada and the international community is required in order to bring an end to this ordeal.
 
On a difficult day for Khaled, his family, friends and supporters, we continue t receive messages of hope by more generous pay-it-forward initiatives.
 
Donna Slaight, of the Slaight Family Foundation, and a great Canadian philanthropist, has donated towards Save the Children’s work in Egypt helping orphaned children and children born into poverty. Her donation is in honor of Khaled’s work to establish an orphan sponsorship program at the University of Toronto in 2003, and the educational and social projects for young Egyptians he and his wife, Sarah Attia, worked on during their time in Egypt.
 
James Lockyer,  a founding director of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted and a prominent social justice activist in Canada, hasmade a donation to the Riverdale Shore Community Association for those in need in the RiverdaleToronto Community. His donation is in honor of Khaled’s care for the needy. While Khaled was at University of Toronto, he spearheaded inter-faith sandwich runs for Toronto’s homeless.
 
Jasmine Herlt, Canada Director of Human Rights Watch, has made a donation to WAR CHILD in honour of Khaled’s commitment to education of children in war torn areas.
 
Family and friends who initiated the winter clothing drive for Toronto’s homeless aimed to collect 500 winter items.  This weekend they concluded the drive with a final count of 2606 winter items including jackets, sweaters, mitts, hats, trousers and shirts for both adults and children.  These items will be distributed in partnership with New Circles, an agency that offersa clothing program to residents in Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park, Flemingdon Park and Victoria Village neighbourhoods.
 
Many others are inspired by the pay-it-forward campaign and are reaching out to join and give in whatever way they can.  A Heart and Stroke Foundation certified instructor has announced that she will offer CPR training to 50 individuals free of cost. Another generous supporter has decided to help a widow in Pakistan pay for her daughter’s marriage.
 
Pay-It-Forward Contributions
 
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (English branch), has donated to the Canadian Centre for International Justice, in honor of Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s commitment to social justice
 
Cecilia Greyson, writer, artist and sister of John Greyson, a previously detained Canadian in Egypt, has donated to Amnesty and HRW, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Erna Paris, an author, historian and journalist, has donated to World Federation Movement-Canada, in honor of Khaled's commitment to social justice and democracy
 
Dr. John Esposito, a university professor and founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding,  has donated to Amnesty/HRW/SPLC, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Peter Larson, Vice-chair, Middle East Study Group, Canadian International Council (National Capital Region), has donated to University ofToronto's orphanage sponsorship program, in honor of Khaled establishing it in 2003
 
Sarah Leah Whitson,the Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, has donated to New York public schools, in honor of Khaled's commitment to education
 
Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
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

534 Days - FREEKQ –Alex Neve Pays-It-Forward and Khaled’s Detainment Renewal Decision is Postponed to December 23

Ridwan Al-Nachawati

December 18, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

534 Days
Alex Neve Pays-It-Forward and Khaled’s Detainment Renewal Decision is Postponed to December 23

Today Alex Neve,  Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (English branch), has donated to the Canadian Centre for International Justice, in honor of Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s commitment to social justice. In 2003 Khaled founded the University of Toronto’s student club “Students for World Justice” to raise awareness on campus about injustices around the world and how we as Canadians can contribute to alleviating these injustices. Over the years he has educated students in Egypt on human rights and social justice in hopes of building a new generation of Egyptians who value these fundamental moral principles.
 
Yesterday, Khaled AlQazzaz’s lawyers appeared in court for a third time this month. A different judge listened as they restated their concerns about Khaled’s critical health and the request for his release on medical grounds.  Surprisingly, the judge postponed the decision for a fourth time to December 23, 2014. The hearing will be repeated on that day.
 
Khaled remains under 24 hour security surveillance in his hospital room and has yet to receive the medical attention he needs.  Khaled has been arbitrarily detained for 534days, without charge.
 
Friends, family, and supporters around the world are advocating for Khaled’s justice and freedom, just as Khaled advocated for the justice of others when he was only a student.
 
Pay-It-Forward Contributions
 
Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (English branch), has donated to the Canadian Centre for International Justice, in honor of Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s commitment to social justice
 
Cecilia Greyson, a writer, artist and sister of John Greyson, a previously detained Canadian in Egypt, has donated to Amnesty and HRW, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Erna Paris, an author, historian and journalist, has donated to World Federation Movement-Canada, in honor of Khaled's commitment to social justice and democracy
 
Dr. John Esposito, a university professor and founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding,  has donated to Amnesty/HRW/SPLC, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Peter Larson, Vice-chair, Middle East Study Group, Canadian International Council (National Capital Region), has donated to University ofToronto's orphanage sponsorship program, in honor of Khaled establishing it in 2003
 
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, has donated to New York public schools, in honor of Khaled's commitment to education
 
Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 530 days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
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

532 Days - FREEKQ –Detainment Renewal Tomorrow as more Canadians Pay-It-Forward

Ridwan Al-Nachawati

December 16, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

532 Days
Detainment Renewal Tomorrow as more Canadians Pay-It-Forward

Over the last month, Khaled AlQazzaz’s lawyers have appeared in court twice, only to leave without a decision on his case. While Khaled’s lawyers have restated their concerns about his critical health and their ongoing application for his release on medical grounds, in both instances the judge delayed his decision and ordered for the hearing to be repeated. The lawyers will once again present their case on Wednesday December 17.
 
Canadian diplomats have been denied access to monitor the case for the last several court appearances.
 
Canadians continue to pay it forward in honour of Khaled, who has been detained without charge for over 17 months. 
 
Cecilia Greyson, sister of John Greyson, a previously detained Canadian in Egypt, has joined the pay-it-forward campaign. “Today I join my brother John Greyson by participating in Sarah's campaign. In honour of Khaled, and all others held unjustly around the world, I am making donations to Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, & I'm encouraging friends to do the same.”
 
Peter Larson, Vice-chair, Middle East Study Group, Canadian International Council (National Capital Region) has pledged to donate to the University of Toronto’s Orphanage Sponsorship Program founded by Khaled in 2003. Today UofT students collect funds for 130 orphans in 20 countries through this program.
 
Khaled has been arbitrarily detained for 532 days, without charge; yet his family continues to be concerned with each detainment renewal that Khaled may face trumped up charges. A request for release on medical grounds has been officially filed in the hope that Khaled can receive vital medical surgery from a hospital of his choice, and so that he can be re-united with his children during the holiday season.
 
Pay-It-Forward Contributions
 
Sarah Leah Whitson has donated to New York public schools, in honor of Khaled's commitment to education
 
Dr. John Esposito has donated to Amnesty/HRW/SPLC, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Erna Paris has donated to World Federation Movement-Canada, in honor of Khaled's commitment to social justice and democracy
 
Cecilia Greyson has donated to Amnesty and HRW, in honor of Khaled's commitment to human rights
 
Peter Larson has donated to UofT's orphanage sponsorship program, in honor of Khaled establishing it in 2003

Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

526 Days - FREEKQ – Detainment Renewal Decision Postponed to December 17

Ridwan Al-Nachawati

December 10, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

526 Days
Detainment Renewal Decision Postponed to December 17

Today, Khaled AlQazzaz’s lawyers appeared in court again. They restated their concerns about Khaled’s critical health and the application for his release on medical grounds.  The judge delayed his decision until the end of business day.  Several hours later, the lawyers were notified that the decision is postponed to December 17, 2014.
 
Khaled’s lawyers and family cannot make sense of this new cycle of postponing the renewal or release decision.  They can only hope it will lead to positive news.
 
Today the global community celebrates International Human Rights Day. Today we remember the progress made worldwide on advancing the respect of human rights.  We also reflect on the obstacles and challenges that are faced in every part of the world to ensure that basic rights are met. Today we thank human rights defenders for their courage and steadfastness to make this world a better place for all. We also pray for the safe return of all human rights defenders to their families and loved ones, including Khaled AlQazzaz.
 
Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: 525 Days - FREEKQ –Activists, Academics and Authors Pays-It-Forward for Khaled Al-Qazzaz

Aaida Mamuji

December 9, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

525 Days
Activists, Academics and Authors Pays-It-Forward for Khaled Al-Qazzaz

On November 15, the 500th day of Khaled Al-Qazzaz's arbitrary detention, the pay it forward campaign was started by friends of Khaled Al-Qazzaz. Today, on the eve of December 10th, International Human Rights Day, Khaled’s friends are grateful for the support of renowned human rights activists, academics and authors who have joined to pay forward Khaled's commitment to education, human rights, and social change.
 
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Executive Director Middle East and North Africa Divisionof Human Rights Watch, announced her pay-it-forward today on twitter. “To mark over 500 days of Khaled’s unjust imprisonment without charge in Egypt, I’m paying it forward by making a donation to New York City’s public schools, in honor of Khaled’s commitment to education for all,” says Sarah Leah.
 
Dr. John Esposito, a university professor and founding director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, is honoring Khaled’s human rights work by donating to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
 
Erna Paris, an author, historian and journalist is contributing to the World Federalist Movement-Canada in support of Khaled’s contribution to social change and respect of human rights in Egypt. “I support the human rights of Khaled who has been unjustly imprisoned in Egypt. He should be brought home and reunited with his wife and four children and I call on the Canadian government to urgently secure his immediate release,” says Erna.
 
Khaled and Sarah moved to Egypt in 2005 to begin an education project. They both believed that through changing the minds of the new generation, hope for a brighter future in a developing country would be possible. They founded a school offering international education for students in elementary through high school and teach concepts of volunteerism, civic engagement and human rights as part of their academic program.Khaled is an acclaimed educator, youth activist and a human rights champion.As a public servant, Khaled championed changes to human rights, women’s rights and minority rights for all Egyptians.
 
This comes less than a day before Khaled's scheduled detainment renewal.   On December 10, a judge will decide if Khaled's detainment without charge will be renewed for the 16th time.   Family, friends, and supporters hope that this 525 day ordeal will come to an end.
 
For more information on the Pay-It-Forward campaign and how you can get involved please visit:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/human-rights-work/
 
Recent Media
 
The Star – Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, jailed in Egypt, should be set free: Editorial
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2014/12/08/canadian_journalist_mohamed_fahmy_jailed_in_egypt_should_be_set_free_editorial.html
 
Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: 524 Days - FREEKQ – Khaled AlQazzaz’s Detainment Renewal Postponed to December 10, International Human Rights Day

Aaida Mamuji

December 8, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

524 Days
Khaled AlQazzaz’s Detainment Renewal Postponed to December 10, International Human Rights Day

Today, Khaled’s lawyers attended the court proceeding for what may be the 16th renewal of his unlawful detainment.  They requested that the judge consider Khaled’s critical health and their current application for his release on medical grounds. The judge listened to them and concluded by postponing the outcome to December 10 2014.
 
Coincidentally, December 10 is also the UN General Assembly’s International Human Rights Day. Khaled’s children, family and friends hope that after 524 days of lobbying, Khaled’s ordeal may come to end on this day.
 
“I hope that on December 10, a day which symbolizes the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will be able to celebrate the release of a human rights defender – my husband. Khaled sacrificed so much to bring positive changes to the human rights platform in Egypt, especially on women’s rights and minority rights.  The denial of his own human rights should no longer continue,” says Sarah Attia.
 
For more information on Khaled’s human rights work please visit http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com/human-rights-work/

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: 523 Days - Khaled AlQazzaz’s Detainment Renewal Scheduled for Monday December 8, 2014

Aaida Mamuji

December 7, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

523 Days
Khaled AlQazzaz’s Detainment Renewal Scheduled for Monday December 8, 2014

Khaled’s lawyers have been notified that his next court appearance will take place on Monday December 8, 2014. On that day, a judge will decide whether Khaled should be released or if his detainment should continue for another 45 days. This will be Khaled’s 16th renewal if he is not released.
 
December 10 marks the UN General Assembly’s Human Rights Day. This year’s slogan, Human Rights 365, encompasses the idea that every day is Human Rights Day. But for Khaled, he has surpassed 500 days, each one a violation of his human rights.
 
Khaled’s health does not allow him to be transferred to the court. His lawyers have submitted a request for release on medical grounds and are hoping that progress will be made tomorrow.
 
Sarah Attia, Khaled's Canadian born wife,has continued to call on the Canadian government and the international community to urgently assist in securing his immediate release. Khaled has not been charged or have any accusations disclosed, and he continues to be held in arbitrary detention.

Khaled’s children, family and friends are praying for him to be home before the holidays.

Background

Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled had spent 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
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.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com

Press Release: 519 Days - Hope Spreads for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Release

Aaida Mamuji

December 3, 2014
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

519 Days
Hope Spreads for Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Release

To mark over 500 days of Khaled's detention, family, friends and other Canadians with no connection to Khaled are contributing to initiatives to #PayitForward4KQ by doing acts of kindness and charity on his behalf. It is amazing how many people are coming on board to widen the reach of this campaign. These initiatives have touches the lives of over 3500 Canadians. These are some of the acts of kindness that have been done to-date:
 
500 handmade chocolates given out to University of Toronto students
500 handmade bookmarks given out to university students
500 dollars were raised by Ottawa residents to sponsor an orphan
500 flowers given out to pedestrians at Toronto’s Dundas Square
500 winter clothing items are being collected for Toronto's homeless
500 cookies were given out at several Mississauga libraries and malls
100 flowers were handed out at Parliament Hill in Ottawa
A donation appeal for a women’s shelter in Baltimore
200 women signed a tree of hope and received messages of hope in support of Sarah’s resilience and perseverance at the Being Me Women’s conference
 
Pay-it-forward campaigns are spreading and with that our hope stays alive.
 
“My hope is rekindled when I recognize that Khaled's voice is in fact being heard and continues to steadily grow. For every time I speak or write, there has always been an ear or a reader willing to learn about my family's story. I am grateful and incredibly touched at how frequent I am told that it is a story that they would be willing to share and campaign for,” says Sarah Attia, Khaled’s Canadian-born wife.
 
Khaled remains in critical medical condition and requires urgent surgery. Sarah is hoping that Khaled be transferred to a medical facility in Canada immediately, so that he can receive the surgery he requires.
 
“I continue to campaign...in hopes that the international community will continue to demand his release. I have reached out to all UN HRC mechanisms that deal with arbitrary detention and human rights violations to document my husband's ordeal and request positive action. I have received support from MPs from across the political spectrum in Canada. I have written an open letter to the Egyptian Prosecutor General to ask that he personally intervene in my husband's case,” says Sarah Attia. (Read more Huffington Post November 28)
 
As a passionate and achieved educator, Khaled hopes to return to his education career and catch up on the lost time with his children.
 
Recent Media
 
Huffington Post - My Husband Has Been Illegally Detained in an Egyptian Prison for Over 500 Days
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sarah-attia/egyptian-prison_b_6238288.html
 
UofT Students give out hand-made bookmarks
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz/posts/371778502990034
 
TheStar – Bitter milestone for Canadian resident in Egyptian jail
http://www.thestar.com/news/the_world_daily/2014/11/bitter_milestone_for_canadian_resident_in_egyptian_jail.html
 
Campaign urges acts of kindness on behalf of political prisoner
http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/5149703-campaign-urges-acts-of-kindness-on-behalf-of-political-prisoner/

A wonderful day today filled with positive and uplifting responses
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz/posts/372576472910237
 
Pay it Forward for Khaled Al-Qazzaz – Short Film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaayxbdOBXc
 
Media Opportunity
 
If you would like to interview Sarah on current developments of Khaled’s case or to cover a pay-it forward initiative please email us atahmad.attia@gmail.com.
 
Background
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained without charge in Egypt for over 500 days. Khaled spent over 500 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's health has deteriorated due to the conditions of his detainment and is at risk of permanent paralysis if not provided with appropriate medical care immediately.
 
Khaled Al-Qazzaz 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.
 
Toronto-born Sarah Attia, Khaled’s wife, has been calling on the Canadian government and international community to urgently assist in securing Khaled’si mmediate release.
 
Further information can be found at:
http://www.freekhaledalqazzaz.com
https://www.facebook.com/freekhaledalqazzaz
@FreeKhaledAQ

- 30 –

For more information:
Ahmad Attia
647-292-5049
ahmad.attia@gmail.com