Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne Heads to Egypt, Canadian Citizen Yasser Ahmed Albaz’s Family Calls for Him To Bring Yasser Home

Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Citizen Yasser Ahmed Albaz has been arbitrarily detained by Egyptian authorities for 10 months without charge in very difficult prison conditions. Today Yasser’s family was joined by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) to call for Minister François-Philippe Champagne to secure Yasser’s release and reunite him with his family during his trip and bring Yasser home with him.
Minister Champagne will be in Egypt to attend the inaugural Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa on December 11 and 12, 2019.
Amal Albaz, Yasser’s eldest daughter, said “for the last 295 days, my father has been asking every single day what Canada is doing to get him out and bring him home. For 10 months thousands of Canadians have been advocating for government intervention to secure his release. Emails, postcards and letters have been sent and phone calls have been made to members of parliament and Global Affairs Canada calling for urgent action. We have garnered almost 40,000 signatures from across Canada for a petition through asking our Minister to intervene. On Monday we learnt our Minister of Foreign Affairs François-Philippe Champagne is on his way to Egypt for a summit. We are appealing to him to not only raise the case, but to use all means necessary to secure my father’s release and his safe return home.”
Justin Mohammed, Amnesty Canada’s Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner, expressed that “Amnesty International is deeply concerned with Yasser’s ongoing detention without trial in Egypt, which we consider to be arbitrary based on the information we received from the family and his lawyer. Yasser’s ongoing detention without trial is unacceptable, and Minister Champagne’s visit to Egypt provides a clear opportunity to press the Egyptian authorities to put an immediate end to the human rights abuses that Yasser is suffering.”
Tim McSorley, the National Coordinator of the ICLMG, also added that “the ICLMG continues to be deeply concerned for Mr. Albaz’s welfare. We know the terrible conditions at Tora prison, and we have received report upon report from Mr. Albaz’s family of the serious impact his imprisonment has had on his health. The lack of charge or trial also shows the complete disregard for Mr. Albaz’s fundamental rights. It appears more and more clear that he will not be released without outside intervention. This is why we are joining the Albaz family today to ask Minister Champagne to do all that is necessary on his current trip to Egypt to secure the release of Mr. Albaz and bring him home to his family and friends in Oakville, Ontario. He should not spend one minute more in an Egyptian jail. ”
Mustafa Farooq, the Executive Director of the National Council of Canadian Muslims, expressed “Canadians expect that Canada will protect people like Yasser Elbaz. We are calling on the Minister, during his visit to Egypt, to bring Yasser home with him.”
Over the last several months, Canadians have been raising concern about Yasser Albaz’s conditions, his right to an immediate release and the Canadian government’s responsibility to intervene. In the last couple of weeks, hundreds of Canadians have called their MPs, specifically asking for the Minister to go to Egypt and bring Yasser home.
For interviews please contact:
Amal Ahmed, Family (416) 841-0626
Tim McSorley, ICLMG (613) 241-5298
Mustafa Farooq, NCCM (613) 406-2525
Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada 613-744-7667 ext. 236,