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Egypt: Former presidential aide Khaled al-Qazzaz freed

    January 21, 2015

    Khaled al-Qazzaz, former aide to ousted Egyptian President Morsi, was released on January 11 after being detained without charge for over 18 months. Supporters are grateful for his release and hoping that he will soon be reunited with his wife and their four children in Canada.

    What happened?

    Khaled al-Qazzaz had been detained without charge since July 3, 2013, when he was arrested along with ousted president Mohamed Morsi and other members of the presidential team.

    Khaled al-Qazzaz’s health deteriorated severely after months of solitary confinement in the maximum-security prison of al-‘Aqrab (“The Scorpion”), and before that in secret detention. His family said he suffered from severe neck pain and numbness and weakness in his hands and legs.

    An MRI scan showed that Khaled al-Qazzaz suffered from spinal stenosis, a condition in which the space around the spine narrows and compresses the nerves, as well as herniated discs in his neck and lower back.

    Medical experts warned that if he did not receive adequate treatment there was a risk that he would permanently lose the use of his arms and legs.

    How did Amnesty supporters make a difference?

    Amnesty International launched a global appeal on the case of Khaled al-Qazzaz. Amnesty supporters urged the Egyptian authorities to release al-Qazzaz or charge him with a recognizably criminal offence and give him a fair trial.
    Amnesty supporters also called for al-Qazzaz to be given the medical treatment he needed, and for him to be allowed regular access to his lawyers and family.
    (Photograph shows Sarah Attia, wife of Khaled al-Qazzaz.)