Update on John and Tarek: Detention extended again

Sept 15/13, 3pm

After a brief meeting in Tora prison, where Canadians John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have been held for the past 30 days, the Cairo district prosecutor, Mohamed Heta, announced today that he would extend their detention period for a further 15 days.

Egyptian authorities have not provided any reason for the extension or for the ongoing detention of Greyson and Loubani. Greyson and Loubani were first arrested in the early evening of Friday, August 16th, when they approached Egyptian police officials to ask for directions in the Azbakiya district of Cairo.


Sept 15/13, 3pm

After a brief meeting in Tora prison, where Canadians John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have been held for the past 30 days, the Cairo district prosecutor, Mohamed Heta, announced today that he would extend their detention period for a further 15 days.

Egyptian authorities have not provided any reason for the extension or for the ongoing detention of Greyson and Loubani. Greyson and Loubani were first arrested in the early evening of Friday, August 16th, when they approached Egyptian police officials to ask for directions in the Azbakiya district of Cairo.

“We are obviously extremely saddened to hear about the extension,” said Cecilia Greyson, “but just as importantly 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.”

“While we have approached the Egyptian authorities in good faith and provided them with sworn affidavits, travel itineraries, and other particulars clarifying the nature of John and Tarek’s trip to Gaza, the Egyptian Prosecutor has alternatively missed and delayed important hearings into John and Tarek’s case and then extended their detention repeatedly without cause,” added Cecilia.

“Tarek and John have answered every question that has been put to them and now it is time for the Egyptian authorities to do the same,” said Mohammed Loubani, Tarek’s brother. “Why is Egypt detaining a prominent Canadian filmmaker, and a physician on his way to provide medical aid in Gaza? Why has the Prosecutor consistently missed, and delayed the hearings that he himself had set to review their case? Why are they not allowed even two hours outside per day? Why were Tarek and John held for 30 days in a crowded cell with 38 other inmates, a single sink, and one toilet?” he added.

“We want the Egyptian authorities to respect the evidence, to respect the appeals that have come from Canada, from the Canadian government and from over 100,000 people, all of which show unequivocally that Tarek and John should be freed now,” said Justin Podur, a friend of both Tarek and John’s.

Contact: Justin Podur, justin@podur.org. Cecilia Greyson, cgreyson@gmail.com. Justin and Cecilia will be available for media interviews tomorrow (Monday) afternoon.

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.