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Family of Oakville man detained in Egypt calls for intervention from Canadian government

Read here: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2019/02/24/family-of-oakville-man-detained-in-egypt-calls-for-intervention-from-canadian-government.html

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to step in after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge. Yasser Ahmed Albaz and his wife, Safaa Elashmawy, are seen in an undated handout photo.

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling for the Canadian government to intervene at the highest levels after he was taken from an airport in Cairo last week.

Yasser Ahmed Albaz, 51, of Oakville was returning home from a business trip on Family Day when he was stopped at the Cairo International Airport and his passport confiscated, according to a press release sent by his daughter, Amal Ahmed Albaz.

“This is clearly a misunderstanding,” she told the Star. “My father was there on business. He has no political affiliations and he’s not active politically.”

According to the release, Ahmed Albaz’s family called the Global Affairs Canada emergency hotline within hours of his disappearance to open a case. Richard Walker, a spokesperson with Global Affairs, confirmed that Global Affairs is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt.

“Consular services are being provided and officials are in contact with local authorities,” said Walker, adding that due to the provisions of the Privacy Act no further information could be disclosed.

According to his daughter, the last messages received from her father were sent via WhatsApp, one around 10 p.m. EST Monday telling his family he loved them, and another some time later to a friend in Egypt confirming he had been taken by Egypt’s state security.

On Saturday, his family’s Egyptian lawyer and the Canadian Embassy were notified that he had appeared at the Egyptian state security prosecutor’s office, according to the release, adding lawyers have confirmed he has not been charged, but he will continue to be held for additional questioning on Tuesday.

As of Sunday, Amal said the family had been informed her father had been transported to Tora Prison. She said they are concerned for his well-being due to the prison’s notoriety for harsh conditions.

She said members of the family’s community in Oakville have been quick to help, reaching out to their MPs to draw more attention to the issue. While Amal says she and her family are appreciative of the Canadian government’s involvement so far, more pressure is needed to get her father back safely.

“It’s ironic that on Family Day, the day that families are supposed to come together, my family was torn apart,” Amal told the Star.

“We need our foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, and our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to intervene,” she said. “They need to pick up the phone today. He needs to come home today.”

Family of Canadian man detained in Egypt ‘torn apart,’ asks feds for help

Read here: https://globalnews.ca/news/4994384/canadian-man-detained-egypt-family-government-help/

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to step in after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge. .
 The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to step in after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge. . THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Safaa Elashmawy

Family members of a Canadian man detained in Egypt are calling on the federal government to step in and bring him home, citing concerns for his safety after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz said her family was “torn apart” when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport on Feb. 18 on his way back to Canada. She said he had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities and was taken in for questioning.

He managed to message the family from the airport about what was happening, telling him he loves them, but Alabaz said the family hasn’t heard from him since.

She said her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., has been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December. Amal said her family still doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal said the family immediately contact Global Affairs Canada, which provided a list of lawyers the family could contact to assit Yasser.

Amal said a lawyer was hired, and on Saturday night, he told the family that Yasser is being held in a prison in the Tora Prison complex in Cairo, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

The prison has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups where advocates and journalists have been detained and imprisoned in the last few years.

In November 2017, a top judicial agency in Egypt agreed to review the prison to assess whether it suitable to house inmates after allegations the prison was cutting off access to families and lawyers and not providing medical treatment to prisoners.

“My family and I are worried for his safety,” said Amal. “We can’t sleep, we can’t eat, we can’t do anything.”

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman said on Saturday that the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information citing privacy concerns.

Amal said she is concerned that she has not been told where her father was immediately after he was detained or how long he was in the prison. She said the lawyer told her and her family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she hopes the Canadian government will get involved before then.

“My father needs to come home,” she said. “He needs to come home today.”

Family calls on federal government to step in after Canadian man detained in Egypt

Read here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-family-calls-on-federal-government-to-step-in-after-canadian-man/

Yasser Ahmed Albaz and his wife Safaa Elashmawy are seen in an undated handout photo.HO/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Family members of a Canadian man detained in Egypt are calling on the federal government to step in and bring him home, citing concerns for his safety after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz said her family was “torn apart” when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport on Feb. 18 on his way back to Canada. She said he had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities and was taken in for questioning.

He managed to message the family from the airport about what was happening, telling him he loves them, but Alabaz said the family hasn’t heard from him since.

“It was on Family Day, when families are supposed to come together, mine was torn apart. My dad was trying to come home,” she said.

She said her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., has been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December. Amal said her family still doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal said the family immediately contact Global Affairs Canada, which provided a list of lawyers the family could contact to assit Yasser.

Amal said a lawyer was hired, and on Saturday night, he told the family that Yasser is being held in a prison in the Tora Prison complex in Cairo, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

The prison has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups where advocates and journalists have been detained and imprisoned in the last few years.

In November 2017, a top judicial agency in Egypt agreed to review the prison to assess whether it suitable to house inmates after allegations the prison was cutting off access to families and lawyers and not providing medical treatment to prisoners.

“My family and I are worried for his safety,” said Amal. “We can’t sleep, we can’t eat, we can’t do anything.”

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman said on Saturday that the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information citing privacy concerns.

Amal said she is concerned that she has not been told where her father was immediately after he was detained or how long he was in the prison. She said the lawyer told her and her family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she hopes the Canadian government will get involved before then.

“My father needs to come home,” she said. “He needs to come home today.”

Family of Canadian detained in notorious Egypt prison calls on government to help

Read here: https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/family-calls-on-canadian-government-to-step-in-after-man-detained-in-egypt

Yasser Ahmed Albaz and his wife Safaa Elashmawy are seen in an undated handout photo.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Safaa Elashmawy

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to step in after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz says her family was “torn apart” last week when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport and had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities.

She says her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., had been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December, and the family doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal says her father’s lawyer told the family on Saturday night that Yasser is being held in a prison in Cairo, which has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman says the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information citing privacy concerns.

Amal says the lawyer told the family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she is concerned for her father’s safety and hopes the Canadian government will get involved in bringing him home.

A Canadian Man is detained in Egypt

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to intervene. They say Yasser Ahmed Albaz is being held without charge. The family says his passport was seized at the airport. He lives in Oakville, Ontario. We speak to his daughter Amal Ahmed Albaz

A Canadian man is detained in Egypt

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to intervene. They say Yasser Ahmed Albaz is being held without charge. The family says his passport was seized at the airport. He lives in Oakville, Ontario. We speak to his daughter Amal Ahmed Albaz

Posted by Aarti Pole on Sunday, February 24, 2019

Family calls on Canadian government to step in after man detained in Egypt

Read here: https://www.citynews1130.com/2019/02/24/family-calls-on-canadian-government-to-step-in-after-man-detained-in-egypt/

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling on the federal government to step in after they were informed that he is being held in a notorious prison without charge.

Amal Ahmed Albaz says her family was “torn apart” last week when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport and had his passport seized by Egyptian authorities.

She says her father, 51-year-old Yasser Ahmed Albaz, who lives in Oakville. Ont., had been in Egypt on a business trip for his engineering firm since December, and the family doesn’t know why he was detained and questioned.

Amal says her father’s lawyer told the family on Saturday night that Yasser is being held in a prison in Cairo, which has been the subject of concern from various human rights groups, but no charges have been laid and it is not known why he remains in custody.

A Global Affairs Canada spokesman says the government agency is aware that a Canadian citizen was detained in Egypt and consular services were provided, but he could not provide further information citing privacy concerns.

Amal says the lawyer told the family that Yasser will be questioned by Egyptian authorities again on Tuesday, but she is concerned for her father’s safety and hopes the Canadian government will get involved in bringing him home.

Detained Canadian thrown in notorious Cairo prison without charge: family

Read here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/detained-canadian-thrown-in-notorious-cairo-prison-without-charge-family-1.4310317

An Ontario woman is pleading with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to call Egypt and demand the release of her Canadian father, who was thrown into a Cairo prison without any apparent explanation.

Amal Ahmed Albaz tells CTV News Channel that her father, Yasser Ahmed Albaz, was about to board a plane on his way back to Canada last Monday when he sent his family a message saying that he had been “flagged.” He later sent another message telling his family that he loves them, and then contact stopped.

Amal Ahmed Albaz tells CTV News Channel that her father, Yasser Ahmed Albaz, was about to board a plane on his way back to Canada last Monday when he sent his family a message saying that he had been “flagged.” He later sent another message telling his family that he loves them, and then contact stopped.

“Yesterday my father was taken to the state security prosecutor’s office for questioning and we don’t know what this questioning is about,” Albaz told CTV News on Sunday.

Yasser Ahmed, who has been detained in Egypt, and his daughter, Amal Ahmed, are shown in this undated photo.

“Our family lawyer was informed and he was present for that. The Canadian embassy was also informed,” she said.

“After that, he was transported to Tora prison which is the worst prison in all of Egypt,” Albaz added. “We’re very, very concerned over my father’s safety.”

Human Rights Watch has described Tora as “the central site for those deemed enemies of the state.”

Albaz says that her father has been in Canada for two decades and that he runs an engineering firm in Oakville, Ont. She says she has no idea why he was detained.

“He has a client in Egypt and that’s why he was there for that time,” she said.

“My father has no political affiliations,” Albaz added. “He’s not politically active whatsoever. His business is engineering; it has nothing to do with state security or anything like that.”

Albaz said she hopes the Canadian government will intervene. Minister Freeland’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

“It’s like they’re trying to fish for something but there’s nothing to fish for,” Albaz added.

“My biggest concern right now is if this escalates to any fabricated charges, which is very common in Egypt,” she said.

Friends at the Oakville mosque where Albaz sits on the board said that they are praying for him.

Ferras Marish has known Albaz for 15 years and says that he can’t think of any reason to justify the detention.

“The only thing I could think of is it’s just a name match,” Marish said, noting that it’s common in Middle Eastern countries for many people to share the same names.

Marish said he’s very concerned.

“We’re used to a just system where mistakes can happen but then once it’s cleared, it’s cleared,” he said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that will be the case in Egypt.”

‘Horror-struck’ family calls for release of Canadian detained in Egypt

Read here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/horror-struck-family-calls-for-release-of-canadian-detained-in-egypt-1.5031404

Yasser Ahmed Albaz, left, pictured with his wife, Safaa Elashmawy. He was taken from the Cairo airport and is in Egyptian custody. (Amal Ahmed Albaz/Suppled)

The family of a Canadian man detained in Egypt is calling for the highest level of intervention from the Canadian government after he disappeared from the Cairo airport on Monday.

Yasser Ahmed Albaz, 51, has been in Egypt for business since December. When he attempted to board his flight home to Oakville, Ont., this week, his family says his passport was confiscated and an officer later told him his name had been flagged for investigation. 

He texted his family to tell them he loved them.

A text message to a friend from Albaz later that night said state security was arresting him. That was the last anyone had heard from him.

“The biggest concern for us is his safety,” his daughter Amal Ahmed Albaz told CBC News on Saturday. “Our family was horror-struck.”

The family reported his disappearance to Global Affairs immediately. 

The government department said in a statement they were aware of the detention of a Canadian citizen, but for privacy reasons spokesperson Richard Walker said no other information could be disclosed. Consular services are being provided to the family. 

Amal said the government told them earlier this week that Canadian officials in Egypt are in contact with the local government to get answers. She was told originally the state denied they were holding Albaz, but later admitted he’s in custody and would not say where or provide other information. 

Late Saturday night, Global Affairs notified the family that Albaz was being questioned at the State Security Prosecutor’s office. He has so far not been charged with any crimes, but Amal said her father’s lawyer learned Albaz will be held for more questioning on Tuesday. He was then transported to Tora prison, just south of Cairo.

“An injustice has been done to my father,” she said. “We need him home now.”

The Albaz family is originally from Egypt and has been living as citizens in Canada for almost two decades. Business and vacations take them back and forth between the two countries regularly.

Amal says her father isn’t political — he’s an engineer by profession — and she can think of no reason for his detention.

She added she appreciates the government’s efforts so far, but as the days wear on, it’s time to step up the pressure on the Egyptian government for more information. 

The family is asking Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to step in and call for his release. Freeland has previously spoken out about detentions of human rights activists in Saudi Arabia, and about the two Canadian men who remain in custody in China.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian groups have criticized the north African nation for arbitrary detentions and abuse of detainees. 

“The authorities used torture and other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance against hundreds of people, and dozens were extrajudicially executed with impunity,” Amnesty’s 2018 report on the country warns. 

That’s what worries Amal. 

“There is great concern around the condition of his detention and if he is being treated according to international human rights laws.”