Demonstration tomorrow in Montréal, family and friends call for diplomatic action

Family and supporters of Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, two Canadians now a week into their hunger strike in Egyptian prison, will be protesting at the Egyptian Consulate in Montréal at 1pm this Tuesday September 24. Tarek and John have been in prison for more than a month, and supporters are demanding that calls from the Canadian government for their release be supported by real diplomatic action.


Family and supporters of Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, two Canadians now a week into their hunger strike in Egyptian prison, will be protesting at the Egyptian Consulate in Montréal at 1pm this Tuesday September 24. Tarek and John have been in prison for more than a month, and supporters are demanding that calls from the Canadian government for their release be supported by real diplomatic action.

“We have abided by the Egyptian judicial process in good faith but with the expectation that the authorities would come to their senses and release these two widely respected men,” said John’s sister Cecilia Greyson. “Their continued imprisonment calls the credibility of the process into question and raises the need for serious diplomatic pressure.”

“It is good that Foreign Affairs minister John Baird is beginning to discuss this issue with his Egyptian counterpart, but the credibility of Canadian diplomacy hinges on the outcome,” said Justin Podur, a spokeperson for the families. “We must be clear that anything short of their immediate release is unacceptable.”

Family and supporters stress that both Canada’s credibility and the fate of these two men depends on sustained and intensifying pressure.

“If this continues to drag on, it will be necessary to put every point of trade and diplomatic contact between Egypt and Canada on the table,” said Podur. “This cannot be allowed to blow over with Tarek and John still in prison, and we will need to use everything we have to make sure that Egyptian authorities can’t ignore the costs of this imprisonment.”

The playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, who will be one of a number of speakers at the Montréal rally, summarized the widespread sentiment: « Le Canada doit les sortir de là, maintenant. C’est aussi notre dignité qui est en jeu. »

Spokespeople will be available at the rally to speak with the press in French and in English.

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.