Release Yasser Albaz from arbitrary detention in Egypt

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It’s been 16 months since my father, Yasser Albaz has been unlawfully detained in Tora Prison.

We miss him terribly and we may never see or speak to him again.

On June 11, 2020, my family found out that my father is experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms. Not only is he in horribly unhygienic conditions with limited ventilation and almost non-existing medical care, he is in his fifties, and has pre-existing medical conditions which increase his risk and need for immediate medical care. 

This is exactly what the Albaz family feared since the pandemic began – that an outbreak in the prison could cost Yasser his life. Two others (in their 40s) in the same prison wing have died due to COVID in the last week alone.

The Albaz family had warned the Canadian government of this risk– a risk that is now reality.

My family needs your help. We call on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to give a personal commitment to my father’s case, secure his release and bring him home to be treated at a Canadian hospital. 

There is no time to lose. 

To this day, Yasser has not been charged with any crime and remains in the worst prison in Egypt without any allegations as to why he is being detained. His human rights are being violated on every count and Canada has yet to bring him home. No Canadian should be treated like this.

My father’s life is on the line. My father’s life is Canada’s responsibility.


What happened?

On Family Day, February 18, 2019, my dad, Yasser Albaz, was due to return back home to Canada after completing a business trip in Egypt. But upon arrival at Cairo International Airport, passport control authorities confiscated his Canadian passport, and he was kidnapped by Egyptian State Security.

According to International Law, my father was subjected to enforced disappearance. When the Canadian embassy asked the Egyptian Government about my father, they denied any knowledge of him for several days. At the end of the week, he appeared at a prosecutor's office for general questioning and was transported to Torah Prison– notorious for its human rights violations.

My dad remains in Torah. He has several serious medical concerns not being addressed. For 16 months, he has been sleeping on concrete floor without a mattress in a small, crowded cell with 17 men, one washroom and limited ventilation. He faces brutal and unhygienic conditions.

To this day, Yasser has never been charged with anything. He has been receiving extensions to his arbitrary detention without any cause or justification. 

For two decades, my family (including my dad) has travelled back and forth to Egypt without any concern. My father has no affiliation to any groups in Egypt, nor is he politically active. He is a loving father of three and grandfather of two (and another on the way). He owns an engineering firm in Canada and is a prominent, well-respected community leader.

You cannot imagine how much our lives have turned upside down. We miss him terribly and we need your help in order to wake up from this nightmare.

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To keep up with updates and to find out how YOU can help, visit www.freeyasser.ca

and follow our campaign page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/freeyasseralbaz 


Read more about my father's case: 

- CTV Morning News: https://www.theloop.ca/watch/news/world/canadian-man-stuck-in-egyptian-prison-may-have-covid-19/6164562936001/1669666013337071984%20/your-morning/

- CityNews: https://toronto.citynews.ca/video/2020/06/14/detained-canadians-family-ramps-up-pressure-on-government/ 

- National Post: https://nationalpost.com/pmn/news-pmn/canada-news-pmn/fearing-covid-19-daughter-pleads-for-ontario-dads-release-from-cairo-prison 

- CTV News London: https://london.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1977373  

- Oakville News: https://oakvillenews.org/community-protests-to-bring-canadian-home-from-egypt/ 


 

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