Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz

I have basically been a single mother for the last 4 months.
— Sarah Attia (Khaled's wife), living with 4 young children and no family in Cairo

On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military forcibly detained Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a father of 4 young children, Canadian-educated mechanical engineer, and former school principal.

In the days after July 3, the Egyptian regime refused to acknowledge that it was holding Khaled or to confirm his whereabouts, putting him outside the protection of the law.

Khaled’s father, Adly, was later kidnapped from his home in October. Adly Al-Qazzaz is also a teacher.

On the 1st of December 2013, HRW issued a statement accusing the Egyptian government of forcibly disappearing Khaled and 4 others for almost five months. The statement said that Khaled along with 4 other aides “remain detained without any legal basis at an undisclosed location.”

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 was released on January 12, 2015 but has been unable to return to Canada due to the processing time of travel documents.

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 and Egyptian governments and the international community to urgently assist in securing Khaled’s immediate return to Canada.


Under international law, Khaled's case is one of an enforced disappearance. Enforced disappearance violates many of the rights guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Egypt ratified in 1982, including the requirement to bring detainees promptly before a judge. The 1992 UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, stipulates that detainees must be held in officially recognized places of detention, of which their families must be promptly informed; that they must have access to a lawyer; and that each detention facility must maintain an official up-to-date register of everyone in that facility deprived of their liberty.

Enough is enough. Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz now!