Egypt releases two Canadians arrested after pro-Morsi clashes
John Greyson and Tarek Loubani were arrested whilst trying to enter Gaza in mid-August. (Photo courtesy of Canadian Press/Al Arabiya)
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Canada’s Foreign Affairs department announced late Saturday the release of two Canadians held without charges in an Egyptian prison since political clashes in mid-August.
John Greyson is a Toronto filmmaker and university professor, while Tarek Loubani is an emergency room doctor from London, Ontario.
Lynne Yelich, a Canadian minister of consular affairs, said Canada welcomes the decision to release the two men, the Associated Press reported.
The men were detained since mid-August without charge after trying to enter Gaza, where Greyson was on the lookout for a documentary and Loubani planned to help train local doctors.
But they were turned back at the Gaza border and later arrested following a protest in Cairo after Loubani began treating wounded demonstrators, while Greyson recorded the unrest on video, according to Agence France Presse.
The pair released a statement a week ago saying they were beaten and subjected to degrading treatment.
They began a hunger strike on Sept. 15, to protest their detainment, but ended it a couple of days ago after winning small concessions from their jailers, a relative of one of the men said Thursday, according to AFP.
The pair had also released a statement saying Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird warned Egypt that the detention was a significant threat to relations between the two countries, according to The Associated Press.
“Minister Baird and I were in contact with senior Egyptian officials on numerous occasions concerning this case, and the Embassy of Canada to Egypt worked tirelessly to secure their release,” Yelich said in a statement.
The statement added that Canadian officials are facilitating the departure of Loubani and Greyson from Egypt, and will continue to offer consular services to them.