Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

PM voices concern on jailed Canucks

Says Egypt hasn't stated why pair held

  • Print
Egyptian military and policemen carry coffins of off-duty policemen slain in Sinai.

KHALIL HAMRA / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge Image

Egyptian military and policemen carry coffins of off-duty policemen slain in Sinai.

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is joining the family members, friends and colleagues of two Canadians arrested in Egypt in expressing concern for the safety of the men.

John Greyson, a Toronto-based filmmaker and York University professor, and Tarek Loubani, a doctor in London, Ont., were in Cairo and on their way to Gaza on Friday when they were arrested by Egyptian police.

The federal government has yet to be told on what basis Egyptian authorities detained the pair, Harper said Monday.

"We are obviously extremely concerned about the arrest and treatment of the two Canadian citizens who have been detained in Egypt," Harper said. "We don't frankly know what evidence supports any such arrest, and we have expressed our concerns directly to the Egyptian government."

But it appeared to be a case of "two people being in the wrong place at the wrong time," junior foreign affairs minister Lynne Yelich said in an emailed statement. Yelich also posted on Twitter the Canadian ambassador in Cairo paid a visit Monday to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, demanding Egyptian authorities explain the detentions.

A number of other diplomatic levers were being pulled by the government to seek their release and to obtain more information.

A source at the Department of Foreign Affairs said Egypt's ambassador was summoned to meet Monday with senior Canadian officials in Ottawa to discuss the detentions.

The Canadian ambassador in Egypt met with the pair Sunday in the Cairo prison where they are being held and consular officials were expected to meet with them again Monday.

Although Canadian consular staff have been in contact with the pair, Egyptian authorities have yet to justify their detention, said Justin Podur, a friend of both men.

Greyson's family says in a statement they're confident the Canadian Embassy in Cairo is doing "everything they can" to free the pair.

In the same statement, Loubani's brother said while he recognizes Egypt is going through a painful transition, detaining a doctor and filmmaker without due process is "clearly a step in the wrong direction."

"The Egyptian transitional government has frequently repeated its commitment to democratic values and the rule of law," said Mohammed Loubani. "The continued detention of John and Tarek clearly falls short of that commitment."

Two medical groups, a film festival organization and York University are calling for the release of the two Canadians. Thousands have also signed an online petition demanding the pair be set free.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 20, 2013 A7

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you get out and vote for a new mayor and council?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google