Tarek Loubani and John Greyson: Canadians Detainment in Egypt Extended 45 Days

September 29, 2013 5:13 pm Last Updated: September 30, 2013 4:15 pm

The family of two Canadians staging a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison say the two have been ordered detained for another 45 days.

Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have been held without charges in Egypt since Aug. 16 despite Canadian diplomatic pressure. The two say they’ve been beaten since being detained at the height of violent protests in Cairo last month.

Lynne Yelich, a Canadian minister responsible for consular affairs, said Sunday in a statement that the government is “disappointed to learn today that Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson will remain in custody.”

“Canada continues to press for a timely and positive resolution to this situation and, in the absence of confirmation of the charges, once again calls for their release,” she said.

Cecilia Greyson, Greyson’s sister, says a prosecutor issued the extension for her brother and Loubani on Sunday. Loubani, a physician, and Greyson, a filmmaker, were trying to make their way to Gaza when they went to watch the protests a few blocks from their hotel.

“That’s when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a ‘Syrian terrorist,’ slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries,” the pair said in a statement. 

The pair had only planned an overnight stay in Cairo on Aug. 15 before heading to Gaza but they couldn’t get across the border due to the outbreak of protests in Cairo and across the country the following day.

Loubani was planning to build a relationship between university hospital in Gaza and the hospital he works for in Canada.

Greyson planned on filming the situation in Gaza.

The two men are on day 12 of a hunger strike to protest their detention. Greyson’s sister Cecilia said Canadian consular officials visited the men two days ago and told her they are in “good health” but are tired and showing visible signs of weight loss.

Foreign Minister John Baird said he raised their case in a meeting Friday night with his Egyptian counterpart.

Amnesty International encourages people to send a letter to the following people:

Interim President
Adly Mahmoud Mansour
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2 391 1441

Salutation: Your Excellency

Minister of Defence
General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Ministry of Defence
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2 290 6004
Fax/Phoneline: +202 2 291 6227

Salutation: Dear General

Public Prosecutor
Hesham Mohamed Zaki Barakat
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Supreme Court House, 1 “26 July” Road
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2 577 4716
+202 2 575 7165
(switched off after office hours, GMT+2)