Free Ola and Hosam Campaign
September 11, 2017
Ola Renewed for the 5th Time After 72 Days
Amnesty International Calls on Egypt to immediately end solitary confinement
72 days have passed since Ola and Hosam were arbitrarily arrested from their summer home in Egypt’s North Coast. They have been detained in solitary confinement pending investigations. Today Ola was transported to the State Security Prosecution Office for their 5th renewal. Without any due process the prosecutor renewed the detention once more. No additional information on the accusations or evidence was provided to the family lawyer.
“We always spent Eid with my grandparents during our summer vacation in Egypt. But this year we really missed them. It’s not fair, why would anyone hold someone for doing nothing!,” expressed Ola’s 9 year old granddaughter, Jana, who lives in Seattle, United States. Jana and her sister Zaina made videos to advocate for their grandparents’ freedom.
Amnesty International and Amnesty US have issued an Urgent Action on Friday. Amnesty has reported that Ola and Hosam are being held in extreme conditions. They remain in solitary confinement except for five minutes, once a day, to use the bathroom. Ola’s cell is 1.6m x 1.8m without a bed and no access to sunlight or ventilation.
Ola suffers from malnutrition and weight loss from inadequate food portions and quality. They both have been denied their basic human rights and standard prison services such as access to the canteen, outdoor exercise, family and legal visits, medical care and consular access.
Amnesty called “on the Egyptian authorities to immediately end the solitary confinement of Ola Al-Qaradawi and Hosam Khalaf.” They called on their members to send appeals to the Egyptian Minister of Interior, the Office of the President as well as Egypt’s Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights.
Recently several articles in Egyptian media have published claims of certain accusations related to the Muslim Brotherhood or Qatar. The family, Ola, and Hosam reject these accusations as baseless and unsubstantiated. We confirm that these are merely rumours spreading in the media and have no legal basis.
“Ola and Hosam are innocent and their detention is politically motivated. I call for the international community to denounce the continued arbitrary detainment and for Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Ola and Hosam and reunite them with their my children and I,” says Aayah Khalaf, Ola’s eldest daughter who resides in the United States.