York film Professor and Canadian physician continue to be held in Egyptian prison

On Sunday, Sept. 15, York University film Professor John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani, a London, Ontario emergency medicine physician, were ordered detained in a Cairo prison for another two weeks by an Egyptian prosecutor.

john and tarekFrom left, John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani

Greyson and Loubani have been held in custody without charges for 30 days, said their friend and advocate York environmental studies Professor Justin Podur.

Following repeated delays, consular staff and lawyers representing the two men were finally able to meet with the prosecutor over the weekend.

No charges have been laid against the two men and no reason was given for their ongoing imprisonment, said Podur in a statement on his website.

“We are now certain that John and Tarek’s detention is completely arbitrary, and the process they face lacks any semblance of fairness or credibility,” said Greyson’s sister, Cecilia Greyson in a statement issued Sunday.

The two men were arrested on Aug. 16 after they had gone to a Cairo police station to ask for directions to their hotel. Greyson and Loubani were in Cairo on their way to Gaza. They were on a humanitarian mission to a hospital in Gaza.

Greyson and Loubani are in good health and have been moved to a less crowded cell following a request by consular officials.

More than 300 of the world’s top actors, writers, film directors and producers signed an open letter calling for the release of the two men. During the Toronto International Film Festival, A-list actors wore buttons calling for the release of Greyson and Loubani. High-profile filmmaker Sarah Polley and Canadian author Michael Ondaatje and Academy award winning actor Ben Affleck are among those calling for an immediate release of the two men.

A petition asking the Canadian government to take more action and pressure the Egyptian government to release the two men has gathered more than 100,000 signatures as of Sunday.