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 CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Safaa Elashmawy

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

Amal Ahmed Albaz said her family was “torn apart” when her father was stopped at Cairo International Airport

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.

READ MORE: Detained Canadian Kovrig gets third consular visit in China since his arrest

READ MORE: Canadian students urged to study in China despite Kovrig, Spavor arrests

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.”

– With files from the Associated Press

Alanna Rizza, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Oak Bay doctor the pulse of Island’s heart failure clinic

Dr. Elizabeth Swiggum has headed heart clinic for past 14 years

Annual study shows high satisfaction with B.C. post-secondary schools

Study also reveals men tend to dominate higher paying jobs in the trades

Pavement work to close Fort Rodd Hill

Historic site scheduled to be closed to public Sept. 3 to 6

Cross-examination begins for Oak Bay dad accused of killing daughters

Andrew Berry is charged in the deaths of six-year-old Chloe and four-year-old Aubrey in 2017

Arenas, fitness centre ready for action after significant flood at Saanich recreation centre

Library branch, archives remain closed after Thursday night flood

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Ethnic media aim to help maintain boost in voting by new Canadians

Statistics Canada says new Canadians made up about one-fifth of the voting population in 2016

Dog attacked by river otters, Penticton owner says

Marie Fletcher says her dog was pulled underwater by four river otters in the Penticton Channel

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Wife charged in husband’s death in Sechelt

Karin Fischer has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of her husband, Max

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Most Read