TORONTO, May 9, 2014 /CNW/ - Khaled Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada and father of four young Canadian children, has been unlawfully detained in Egypt for 309 days. He has not been accused of any wrongdoing and has been held without charges for nearly a year now. Khaled currently spends his days and nights in solitary confinement in a cramped cell with only a blanket and a non-functioning toilet in one of Egypt's most notorious prisons.
On July 3, 2013, the Egyptian military forcibly and unlawfully detained Khaled. In the days after July 3, the Egyptian regime refused to acknowledge that it was holding Khaled and were unwilling to confirm his whereabouts. This position made Khaled's treatment outside the protection of the law until Human Rights Watch documented the case and exposed the situation. Shortly after, on December 17, 2013 the military moved Khaled to Tora prison.
Legal Process in Egypt
- According to Egyptian legal due process, the detention of a detainee held without charge may be extended by 15 day intervals by the prosecutor without the approval of a judge up to a maximum of 5 months.
- After 5 months the detainee must appear before a judge to decide whether to release the individual or approve further extension. Additional extensions are made at 45 day intervals.
Khaled's Legal Situation
- The Egyptian authorities refuse to recognise the 168 days in which Khaled was held in an undisclosed location without legal process.
- Khaled's legal counsel has confirmed to-date that there exists no evidence against him.
May 10 is Khaled's first appearance after 309 days in front of a judge. Following due legal process and by all international standards Khaled should be released. Sarah Attia, Khaled Al-Qazzaz's Canadian-born wife, is concerned about the continuous due process violations shown by the Egyptian judiciary.
"May 10 also happens to be our 10th anniversary so this day will be particularly difficult for me and my young children. What is happening to Khaled is a gross violation of his human rights -- what kind of roadmap is this where a military-backed government can hold political prisoners for over 300 days without charge?" says Sarah.
Sarah Attia calls on the Canadian government and Egyptian Embassy to urgently assist in securing the immediate safety and prompt release of Khaled Al-Qazzaz.
SOURCE: Free Khaled Campaign
For further information: Ahmad Attia, 647-292-5049, [email protected]