Amnesty International is calling on Canada to urgently intervene to secure the release from prison of Yasser Albaz, a Canadian citizen who has been arbitrarily detained by Egypt since February 2019. Amnesty International is calling on Egyptian authorities to release Yasser Albaz immediately, as the organization considers his ongoing detention to be arbitrary based on information received from his family, including the absence of formal charges and judicial oversight of pre-trial detention.
“Yasser Albaz’s arbitrary detention is particularly concerning due to his ongoing health concerns, including symptoms of COVID-19, that have been reported by the family. This adds another urgent reason for him to be released without further delay. As well, these symptoms should be assessed immediately, and he should be provided with the appropriate medical care,” said Justin Mohammed, Human Rights Law and Policy Campaigner at Amnesty International. “The absence of regular consular visits place Mr. Albaz’s wellbeing in jeopardy, and Canada must take all steps to ensure that he remains healthy and continue to work to secure his release and return to his family,” he added.
Amnesty International has expressed concern about the spread of COVID-19 in Egyptian prisons and considers inmates to be particularly vulnerable due to unsanitary living conditions, the impossibility of physical distancing and inadequate healthcare.