September 6, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sarah Attia Visits the United Nations to Advocate for Khaled Al-Qazzaz's Release
Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz’s Canadian-born wife, visited Geneva from August 25 to August 29 2014 to meet with the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner and its human rights bodies.
In November 2013, four months after Khaled’s initial disappearance, the Working Group for Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Human Rights Council called for the immediate release of Khaled and other aide’s of the former Egyptian President. Since then, neither the Egyptian authorities nor other UN permanent member states have taken the appropriate steps to remedy the situation.
During this recent trip, Sarah updated the UN human rights bodies on Khaled’s current conditions and his ailing health and called on the UN and its permanent members to urgently assist in securing his immediate release. It is clear to the international community that Khaled is innocent of any wrong doing and the cruel conditions he is facing should be stopped.
In early November 2014, Egypt will be undergoing its Universal Periodic Review of its human rights record. Human Rights Organizations including but not limited to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are hoping that the United Nations Human Rights Council will act to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt and promote accountability for past violations in the country (see joint statement).
Khaled’s family has been informed that an appeal of the most recent renewal has been submitted and Khaled may appear in front of a judge on Sunday or Monday of the upcoming week.
Sarah has been advocating for the release of her husband since he was detained in July 2013. She has been lobbying the Canadian government and other countries to intervene for his freedom since April 2014.
ABC News - Wife of Egyptian political prisoner launches UN bid to free him in the hope it will help thousands of others
Reuters -Wife of imprisoned aide to Egypt's Mursi brings case to U.N
The Local – Switzerland News - Jailed Morsi aide's wife seeks UN help in Egypt
Yahoo - Wife of jailed Morsi aide pleads for world to act on Egypt
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace - Egypt, Counterterrorism, and the Politics of Alienation
Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for over 430 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.
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