Late Saturday the Foreign Affairs department of Canada announced that two Canadian citizens had been released from an Egyptian prison. The two men had been held for several weeks without being charged with any crime.
A minister of consular affairs from Canada, Lynne Yelich, said the decision taken by Egypt to release the prisoners was welcomed by Canada. The two prisoners were identified as John Greyson who is a professor and filmmaker and Tarek Loubani who is a physician.
The two had been held without any formal charges since the middle of August. The pair said they had been observing a demonstration that was anti-government on August 15. At that time, Loubani was asked to help with casualties and started treating demonstrators who were wounded. At the same time, Greyson was recording the events that were unfolding in the violent clash with military forces.
Approximately one week ago, the two men released a prepared statement that said they had been beaten as well as subjected to treatment that was degrading.
John Baird, the Foreign Minister of Canada warned officials in Egypt that their detention of the two men was a substantial threat to diplomatic relations amongst the two nations.
Yelich the Consular Affairs representative said that she and Minister Baird had been on contact with official from Egypt on a number of occasions concerning their cases and that Canada’s embassy in Egypt had worked to secure the pair’s release.
The prepared statement also said that officials from Canada were facilitating the departure of Greyson and Loubani from Egypt and were continuing to offer them consular services.
Yelich expressed appreciation to the authorities in Egypt for allowing consular access to the prisoners while they had been detained.