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Canadian jailed in Egypt returns home, needs medical treatment: family

Yasser Albaz experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in Egypt prison, daughter says
ABOVE: Yasser Albaz was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms in Egypt prison, daughter says.

Yasser Albaz, a Canadian engineer who was arrested at Cairo airport at the end of a business trip in February 2019, has been released and is back in Canada but needs medical treatment, his family said on Thursday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in February he had raised the case of Albaz during a meeting in Addis Ababa with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“We are happy to announce that Yasser Albaz has been released by Egyptian authorities and has arrived this morning at Toronto Pearson International Airport,” his daughter Amal Ahmed Albaz said in a statement.

Read more: Her dad may be dying in an Egyptian prison. She says Trudeau’s response is ‘infuriating’

“Yasser’s health has deteriorated and our top priority will be his much needed medical treatment,” she added.

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Amal has been fighting tirelessly to bring Albaz home and escalate his case to the Canadian government. That fight took on a new sense of urgency in mid-June when the family received word he may have contracted COVID-19 in prison.

Family of Canadian detained in Egypt speaks out
Family of Canadian detained in Egypt speaks out

Albaz’s family said last year his passport was confiscated when he attempted to board a flight to Canada and an Egyptian official told him his name had been flagged for a probe.

Sisi has overseen a crackdown on dissent that has targeted liberal opponents as well as the Islamists who briefly held power after the Arab Spring. Tens of thousands of people have been detained.

Global Affairs Canada said it was pleased Albaz has been reunited with his family but added that no further information could be released due to privacy law.

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— With files from Global News