POLITICS

Mississauga, Ont., man detained in Egypt cleared to come back to Canada

04/15/2015 03:10 EDT | Updated 06/25/2015 07:59 EDT
TORONTO - The family of an ailing Mississauga, Ont., man detained in Egypt for more than a year says the father of four has been given all the documents needed to return to Canada.

Khaled Al-Qazzaz's family says the development means the 35-year-old will soon be able to have much-needed surgery in Ontario for a severe spinal condition, said to be related to his detention.

Al-Qazzaz, a University of Toronto engineering graduate, was once an aide to Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi and was arrested alongside the former leader in July 2013, when the Egyptian military removed Morsi from office.

Al-Qazzaz was never charged, nor did Egyptian authorities explain why they had arrested him.

Towards the end of last year, due to his deteriorating health, Al-Qazzaz was transferred from solitary confinement to a hospital in Cairo, but remained under detention.

In January, he was released from custody and his family now says he has received all necessary identification and travel documents that clear the way for his return to Canada.

"We have patiently waited for Khaled’s travel documents and now we are delighted that he can return home," his Toronto-born wife, Sarah Attia said. "I am hopeful that the Egyptian and Canadian authorities will continue to assist in our safe return."

Al-Qazzaz's family says he is set to arrive in Toronto on Thursday.

His case had attracted attention from human rights activists and groups such as Amnesty International.

Former foreign affairs minister John Baird had also raised the case with the Egyptian government.