Update: We have retained Egyptian counsel, and have some legal clarifications

12:30pm, August 21/13

We have hired Shalakany Law Office (www.shalakany.com) to represent Tarek and John. One of our lawyers, Adam Khaled El Shalakany, has agreed to speak to media on legal aspects of the case.

Our lawyers have confirmed for us that the Film Makers Syndicate has filed a complaint to the Public Prosecutor about the case of John and Tarek and are awaiting a reply.


12:30pm, August 21/13

We have hired Shalakany Law Office (www.shalakany.com) to represent Tarek and John. One of our lawyers, Adam Khaled El Shalakany, has agreed to speak to media on legal aspects of the case.

Our lawyers have confirmed for us that the Film Makers Syndicate has filed a complaint to the Public Prosecutor about the case of John and Tarek and are awaiting a reply.

As supporters know, the Canadian Embassy has re-opened in Cairo. Consular staff have told us that they expect the second consular visit to take place tomorrow, and that meeting will include our lawyer as well as consular officials.

A few legal clarifications are in order. First, there have been no charges laid. The 15-day detention order announced by the prosecutor (not a judge) yesterday to the Egyptian press is an order that allows the prosecution to hold people pending investigation.

The prosecutor announced a series of allegations that will be investigated, but in such a press announcement, the prosecutor is not bound by any rules of evidence and as a result the press release was full of wide-ranging, far-fetched, and outright bizarre accusations.

We would like to repeat that these are not formal charges, and this 15-day detention order is also not a jail sentence – it is just a detention order pending investigation. There is absolutely nothing precluding Tarek and John’s release on any day of this 15-day period. In fact, the prosecutor can roll this 15-day period into another 15-day period, and so on. This means that there is no legal or other logic to waiting for the elapse of 15 days.

35,000 people have signed a petition at change.org, thousands have made phone calls. This outpouring of support for Tarek and John is heartening and inspiring.

We have the same demands: the immediate release of John and Tarek. And we still want supporters to write to the Egyptian embassy and consulate, as well as Canadian officials.

Author: Justin Podur

Ecology. Environmental Science. Political Science. Anti-imperialism. Political fiction. Teach at York U's FES. Author. Writer at ZNet, TeleSUR, AlterNet, Ricochet, and the Independent Media Institute.