Oakville Man Reportedly Imprisoned in Egypt After Trying to Return to Canada
The family of a currently imprisoned Oakville man is calling for the Canadian government to assist in freeing him.
51 year old Yasser Ahmed, a Canadian citizen who lives in Oakville with his family, reportedly travelled to Egypt in December 2018 for a two-month business trip.
His daughter, Amal Ahmed Albaz, says the trouble began on February 18 when he attempted to return home.
“As he was passing through passport control, he was pulled aside. Before losing communication he informed our family that he was pulled aside by passport control as his name was flagged for additional clearance,” Amal wrote in a statement on Facebook.
“His last message was to a friend telling him that he was taken by Egypt's state security.”
Yasser is described as a prominent and active community leader and a businessman who founded and operates an engineering company.
His case was reported to Global Affairs Canada, the government department managing Canada's diplomatic relations.
Amal says the Egyptian government denied detaining Yasser for days.
“It remains unclear why he is being unlawfully detained by Egyptian state security,” she wrote. “It remains unknown when or if he will be released. And most critically, there is great concern around the condition of his detention and if he is being treated according to international human rights laws. Our family is gravely concerned for his safety and his life.”
In an updated statement today (February 24), Amal says her father has been transported to Tora Prison in Egypt, and has expressed concern due to “the prison's notoriety for its harsh conditions, use of torture methods and routine human rights violations.”
Yasser has not been charged with anything at this time, Amal says.
A website, freeyasser.ca, was set up for the cause for the purpose of allowing residents to contact their MP regarding Yasser’s situation.
“Yasser's family calls for his immediate release and that he should not remain in Torah prison another night. The Canadian government needs to intervene at the highest levels,” Amal concluded.
More information to come as this story develops.
Cover photo courtesy of freeyasser.ca
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