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article imageTwo Canadians being held in jail in Egypt

By Ken Hanly     Aug 19, 2013 in World
Cairo - Two Canadians have been detained in Egypt. John Greyson, is a Toronto film maker as well as a professor at York University, and Tarek Loubani is an emergency room doctor from London Ontario.
The two were on their way to the Gaza Strip where Greyson was considering making a documentary and Loubani was to take part in a program to train local doctors. At the Egyptian Gaza border crossing that is now closed they were turned back. When they returned to Cairo, they were arrested and taken to Tora prison.
Deepak Obhrai, the parliamentary secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs John BaIrd said in a CBC interview: "We are calling the Egyptian ambassador for the second time and we will be writing a letter to the ministry of foreign affairs of Egypt,But what we really want — if they are being held for real reasons — we want to see the charges, what the charges are …. If not, then they should be released."
A professor at York University in Toronto, Justin Podur said on Sunday afternoon on his blog that the two had contact with consular officials. Podur wrote:"We have heard from Canadian consular services that they managed to visit Tarek Loubani and John Greyson in the Egyptian prison facility. Tarek and John have both passed messages through consular services that they are okay. We still have no information about charges. Consular services will be seeing Tarek and John again tomorrow [Monday]. "
Egyptian officials have still not given any reasons for the arrests. Podur speculated that they may have been arrested for breaking the curfew since authorities arrested them at 10 PM local time. Podur noted: “It is possible they were arrested observing the demonstrations. Tarek is an experienced field physician. He may have tried to volunteer his services as a medic at one of the field hospitals. We’re very worried, we’re very concerned.”
The Canadian Minister of State for Consular Affairs, Lynne Yelich, said on Twitter late Sunday that she had spoken about the two Canadians with Egyptian officials. A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs, Caitlin Workman confirmed that two Canadians have been arrested and that the Canadian embassy in Cairo was in contact with local authorities and providing consular assistance but she said in an email: “I’m afraid that in order to protect the private information of the individuals concerned, additional details cannot be released,”
More about Canada Egypt relations, protests in Egypt, john greyson, tarek loubani
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