Loading articles...

Oakville man released from Egyptian prison after being detained for 16 months

Last Updated Jul 2, 2020 at 11:38 am EDT

Yasser Ahmed Albaz and his wife Safaa Elashmawy are seen in an undated handout photo. The daughter of Albaz, a Canadian man imprisoned in Cairo for almost a year and a half, says her father is at risk of succumbing to COVID-19 unless the government can win his freedom.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Safaa Elashmawy, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Summary

The family of Yasser Albaz released a statement saying Albaz arrived in Toronto on Thursday morning


He was in a Cairo prison since February 2019, when he was detained at the airport on his way home from a business trip


Calls for his release reignited in the past month when his daughter reported Albaz was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms


After spending almost 16 months in an Egyptian prison, an Oakville man has been released and has returned to Canada.

The family of Yasser Albaz, a 52-year-old engineer, released a statement saying Albaz arrived in Toronto on Thursday morning.

He was in a Cairo prison since February 2019, when he was detained at the airport on his way home from a business trip.

Albaz is a dual citizen who was travelling on his Canadian passport.

His daughter, Amal Ahmed Albaz, had previously said his family does not know why he was detained and questioned and that wasn’t charged.

Calls for his release were reignited in the past month when his daughter reported Albaz was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

The prison he was being held in had unhygienic conditions, limited ventilation and almost no medical care.

Albaz’s daughter said her father has pre-existing medical conditions that put him at risk.

In the statement, the family said Albaz’s health has deteriorated and their priority will be “his much needed medical treatment.”

The family also expressed their gratitude for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Ambassador Jess Dutton and Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand.

“Our family’s ordeal is finally coming to an end,” read the statement. “We are forever grateful for each and every person who supported our family.”