Get Waled Home

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The petition is not only about securing this Australian man’s freedom, but potentially helping to save his life from the ravages of a crowded and unhygienic Egyptian prison during a pandemic.

Waled Youssef is from Sydney, and he is a dedicated family man and runs his own small business. Waled has been married to his Australian-born wife for 15 years and they have two young children.

On a family trip to Egypt in January 2020 to visit his sick mother, Waled took his family out for a day of sightseeing. They visited the Pyramids in Giza and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.

After a long day, the family stopped in at a shopping mall near Tahrir square to purchase souvenirs for family members back in Australia and innocently took a photo as a momento of what they thought had been a memorable day.

But that photo marked the end of their idyllic day out: They were stopped by Egyptian police; interrogated about the photo they had just taken; and Waled and his wife driven to a police station for questioning.

While Waled's wife was eventually permitted to leave, Waled was kept in detention.

After some time in police custody, Waled was moved to the dreaded Tora Prison, known for its human rights violations.

Waled has been accused by the authorities of joining a banned Egyptian group based on an old “like” on a Facebook post. However, Waled has no affiliations to any groups in Egypt and is not politically active.

He is also not the first person visiting Egypt to face imprisonment for such unfounded and dubious accusations.

As a dual Australian-Egyptian national, Waled is one of a number of dual nationals unlawfully detained in recent years in an Egyptian prison.

Since his arrest in Egypt, Waled’s family has worked hard behind the scenes to find a resolution, but this had proved unsuccessful. Now, they are speaking out. His family increasingly fear for Waled's life, noting the squalid and crowded conditions of Tora prison during the Covid-19 pandemic make him extremely susceptible to contracting the virus.

Waled's family and friends are calling on the Australian government to do more to help Waled, and to bring him home so that he can be reunited with his family.

Your signature on this petition will support us to send strong message to the Australian government and get Waled home.