Canadian engineer held in Egypt for more than a year returns home
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A Canadian engineer who was detained in Egypt in February 2019 at the end of a business trip has been released and is back home in Toronto, his family said Thursday.
Yasser Albaz's health had deteriorated while he was in custody, and "our top priority will be his much needed medical treatment," his daughter Amal said on Facebook.
Albaz, 52, had developed several symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and his life was at risk, she said.
"Our family's ordeal is finally coming to an end," she said, thanking the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for its support.
Trudeau recently said he had raised Albaz's case during talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Albaz's family says he was arrested as he was leaving Egypt following a business trip that had lasted several months. His passport was confiscated as he was set to fly home to Canada.
The engineer was held at Tora prison in Cairo. Human rights groups have denounced the conditions for inmates at the facility, Amal said.
Albaz was never charged, and Egyptian authorities never publicly explained why he was detained, according to the family.
Albaz emigrated to Canada more than 20 years ago. His daughter said he was not a political activist and had never criticized the government in Cairo.
His trip to Egypt was for purely professional reasons, she insisted.
© 2020 AFP