Canadian hopes Ottawa will urge Egypt to free jailed husband
Published Saturday, April 12, 2014 9:27PM EDT
A Canadian woman whose husband has been jailed in Cairo's notorious Tora prison for more than nine months without charges is asking that Ottawa demand his release.
Sara Attia said her husband Khaled Al-Qazzaz "disappeared" on July 3, 2013 – the same day the Egyptian military ousted the country's first democratically elected president Mohammed Morsi.
At the time, Al-Qazzaz served as secretary to the president for foreign relationsand he was arrested alongside other members of Morsi's former government.
She said for two months, she didn't know where her husband was.
"We've had times when we've had no idea where he is. We've had times when we didn't know if he was alive, we didn't know if he was safe, we didn't know if he was getting medical care," Attia told CTV News Channel on Saturday.
Attia, who was born and raised in Mississauga, Ont. met Al-Qazzaz, a permanent resident of Canada, while they were studying at the University of Toronto. She said they decided to move back to Egypt, along with their four children who are in between the ages of 18 months and 8-years-old, to work on an education project.
"Khaled loved Canada, he valued Canadian values and principles and took that back to Egypt," she said.
Attia said Al-Qazzaz "was trying to implement democracy in Egypt" after the revolution.
She's recently returned to Canada with her children, who are also Canadian citizens, in hopes of persuading the government to demand Al-Qazzaz's release.
"I think it's Canada's role as a free and democratic country to demand Khaled's release, and until he's released I need them to demand that his prison conditions be improved."