Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

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

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