by Justin Podur and Dan Freeman-Maloy
Note: this is a rather long article. If you prefer a PDF version, it is linked here.
As the emergency contact for Tarek and John, I was happy to field media calls and requests. Now the emergency is over, and media are being handled by the most excellent and wonderful Touchwood PR. If you wish to schedule an interview with Tarek and John, pleaes contact Touchwood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Tarek and John were arrested on August 16, we were taken by surprise. We used whatever tools we had to hand to get the message out. As their emergency contact, I used my own blog and my own twitter handle, and became one of their official spokespeople. In the intervening 50 days, we set up a change.org petition, and a dedicated website, tarekandjohn.com. The plan was always to make the transfer so that tarekandjohn.com was the only place to go for news about them, but events kept moving quickly and we did not have a moment to pause to make the transition. Now that things have slowed down, we are doing that.
podur.org will no longer be the place to go for updates on Tarek and John from the family’s perspective. It will resume being what it was before August 16, my blog about (mostly) international politics. When the families and friends of Tarek and John (and Tarek and John themselves) need to communicate something officially, we’ll do it through tarekandjohn.com.
Tarek and John are out of jail, so all that remains is to get them home. Thanks to everyone who came this far and for this long. We’ll meet up again at the finish line.
Tarek and John are out of jail.
Thank you to everyone who followed, supported, wrote letters, helped, worked, and kept going when this thing ended up going so much longer than we thought it would.
Oct 2/13, 8pm
We learned today that Tarek and John have ended their hunger strike. They have resumed eating solid food under medical supervision. They saw a doctor, as well as staff from the Canadian Embassy, today.
Tarek and John commenced their hunger strike on September 16, a month after their arrest, to call attention to their unjust and arbitrary detention leading up to their scheduled hearing on day 45 (September 30). Their secondary demands were the improvement of the conditions of their imprisonment and increased exercise time. These were won.
Oct 1/13, 10pm
Time to close the loophole