Two Canadian citizens have begun a hunger strike to protest the “arbitrary nature of their detention.”
John Greyson, a filmmaker, and Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor, were arrested on 16 August and have been detained without charge since. The announcement of the pair’s hunger strike came through a website run by friends and supporters campaigning for their release, who learned of this through the Egyptian lawyers handling the case.
Greyson and Loubani’s detention was extended for 15 days by the prosecution on Sunday.
According to the campaign website, Greyson and Loubani were arrested “when they approached Egyptian police officials to ask for directions in the Azbakiya district of Cairo.”
Cecilia Greyson, John’s sister, said: “We can only imagine the anguish that John and Tarek feel after realizing that their detention could be extended for so long in what can only be described as an arbitrary process that lacks any credibility.” She added: “We know that they did not take the decision to begin a hunger strike lightly, and we want them to know we will do everything we can to support them and get them home soon.”
Canadian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Lynne Yelich, said on Sunday that Canada “continues to call for their release.” She also confirmed that embassy officials have had regular contact with Greyson and Loubani.
The pair was travelling to Gaza; Greyson for a filmmaking project and Lobani a medical aid project.