October 29, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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.
Sarah and Khaled are unavailable to speak.
Ahmad Attia, Sarah’s brother, may be reached at 647-292-5049 or firstname.lastname@example.org for interviews or for introductions to campaign supporters.
Further information can be found at:
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@JustinTrudeau @CanadaFP @ModernEgypt @EgyArmySpox @MfaEgypt @egyptisspecial @moiegy @egyptgovportal