Egyptian Government: Free Tarek Loubani and John Greyson
  • Petitioned Stephen Harper

This petition was delivered to:

Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper
Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs
John Baird
Egyptian Ambassador to Canada
Wael Aboul-Magd
Prime Minister of Egypt
Hazem Al Beblawy حازم عبد العزيز الببلاوى
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Egypt
Nabil Fahmy
Minister of Industry and Trade, Government of Egypt
Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour
Minister of Tourism, Government of Egypt
Hisham Zaazou
Deputy Prime Minister of Egypt
Ziad Bahaa ElDin

Egyptian Government: Free Tarek Loubani and John Greyson

    1. Petition by

      Free Tarek and John Coalition

  1.  
  2.   
October 2013

Victory

After 50 days in detention, Tarek and John have been released! We were stunned on Saturday when John and Tarek called to say that they were free and recovering in a Cairo hotel. Canadian consular staff are helping them get their papers in order and we expect them home any day. Thank you to all 150,000 of you who signed our petition, wrote letters, made phone calls, came out to rallies, and worked to keep the pressure up on the Canadian and Egyptian Governments, and to bring Tarek and John home. We couldn't have done this without you.

UPDATE Sept 28: Tarek and John have now spent 43 days in prison in Egypt. They have been on a hunger strike for two weeks and are in poor health. This morning, we received news of "impending charges." We believe that whatever charges the Egyptian authorities are seeking against Tarek and John have much more to do with the carnage they witnessed and filmed, rather than what the Egyptian authorities claim they did.  

Earlier in September, the Egyptian Minister of Tourism released a video pleading with other countries to lift travel advisories on Egypt. Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs appeared before the UN General Assembly this week. Egypt's Deputy Prime Minister visited Canada this week to promote trade between the two countries.  As Egypt's new Government seeks favour with the international community, we must hit them where it hurts -- tourism, trade, and their international reputation -- until Tarek and John are free. We have added the Prime Minister of Egypt as well as the Ministers of Tourism, International Trade, and Foreign Affairs as targets on our petition.

We released this statement today from Tarek and John describing the events of August 16, the day they were arrested. Here is an excerpt:  

"We decided to check out the Square, five blocks from our hotel, carrying our passports and John's HD camera. The protest was just starting – peaceful chanting, the faint odour of tear gas, a helicopter lazily circling overhead – when suddenly calls of “doctor”. A young man carried by others from God-knows-where, bleeding from a bullet wound.  Tarek snapped into doctor mode, and started to work doing emergency response, trying to save lives, while John did video documentation, shooting a record of the carnage that was unfolding. The wounded and dying never stopped coming.  Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed. We later learned the body count for the day was 102.

We left in the evening when it was safe, trying to get back to our hotel on the Nile. We stopped for ice cream. We couldn't find a way through the police cordon though, and finally asked for help at a checkpoint.

That's when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a 'Syrian terrorist', slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries. Was it our Canadian passports, or the footage of Tarek performing CPR, or our ice cream wrappers that set them off?"

___

On Friday August 16th, Tarek Loubani, a Canadian emergency physician and John Greyson, a Canadian filmmaker and professor were arrested by Egyptian authorities. Tarek and John were on their way to Gaza --  where Tarek was to work at Al Shifa Hospital, and John to explore the possibility of making a film about the work.

Days later, Tarek and John are still being held in Cairo's Tora prison.Egyptian officials have given no clear reason for their arrest.  In fact, a recent press release by a Cairo district prosecution states that 9 foreigners, including John and Tarek, will be detained for 15 days, pending investigations.  Egypt is going through a turbulent time, and after hundreds were killed in violent clashes last week, foreigners, particularly journalists are being targeted. We need to get our friends out of there.

On Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on Egyptian authorities to "release all evidence" against Tarek and John, but we believe it will take ongoing public outcry in order to force the Canadian and Egyptian Governments to find a resolution and secure their freedom.

Family and friends are worried sick about their safety. Pressure from the Canadian government is our best hope. We must pressure our government to demand their freedom and pressure the Egyptian authorities to let them go.  Thank you for your action on this urgent matter!

Here's how you can help:

1. Please sign the petition below. An automatic email will be sent to Prime Minister Harper, Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and the Egyptian Embassy in Ottawa. 
2. Please phone and email your MP by searching your postal code here. We strongly encourage you to include a personal message, especially if you know Tarek or John personally or professionally. 
3. If you're on Twitter, please use the hashtag #FreeTarekandJohn and tweet your elected officials.
4. Join this Facebook group or check out http://tarekandjohn.com for updates on their whereabouts and how you can help. 
5. Please help us flood the phonelines for the Egyptian embassy in Ottawa, the Egyptian consulate in Montreal as well as John Baird and Stephen Harper.
6. For media inquiries, please contact Justin Podur at 416-407-7795 or justin@podur.org

Relevant contacts: 

Egyptian Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1-613-234-4931, +1-613-234-4935  egyptemb@sympatico.ca

Egyptian Consulate General, Montreal, Canada: +1-514-8668455; +1-514-8668456; +1-514-8668457; egypt.consulate@videotron.ca

John Baird – Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada, 613-990-7720, bairdj@parl.gc.ca
@honjohnbaird 
Department of Foreign Affairs Canada: @DFATDCanada

Stephen Harper – Prime Minister of Canada; Phone: 613-992-4211; Email: stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca

For our US friends: Egyptian Embassy in the US: embassy@egyptembassy.net

 **Update: Canadian officials have made contact with Tarek and John although it is still unknown why they are being detained. Read a statement from the families here: http://podur.org/node/1023 **

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 150,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @LindaMcQuaig

    Aug 24, 2013

    Canadian Government: Help Free Tarek and John http://t.co/Qh45VT1hyj via @change

    Linda McQuaig
    2.93k followers

    @TabathaSouthey

    Sep 02, 2013

    Petition for John Greyson & Tarek Loubani has nearly 100,000 signatures. Please sign, it will help #freetarekandjohn: http://t.co/WOU3MOyG2V

    Tabatha Southey
    11.7k followers

    @SarahEPolley

    Aug 22, 2013

    What have you done today to help John and Tarek get released from jail in Egypt? PLEASE get on it! Tell your friends! http://t.co/EJZ42XmJbZ

    Sarah E. Polley
    29k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Sidney Kirson RICHMOND, B.C., CANADA
      • 7 months ago

      If you live in a democracy you must support this petition !

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • darlene watson GUELPH, CANADA
      • 12 months ago

      Because of the injustice of it all. I hope that signing helped and also that people I know realized that this process does indeed work. Thanks to all that signed when I forwarded the info.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Patrick McKenna CHARLOTTETOWN, CANADA
      • 12 months ago

      I'm glad they are finally free

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Dee Hill LONDON, CANADA
      • 12 months ago

      They have been released from prison but are currently stuck in Cairo. Apparently they're on a “stop-list” of sorts.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Yavar Hameed OTTAWA, CANADA
      • 12 months ago

      Although there has been news of their release from detention, the Canadian government's position has not requested immediate and unequivocal support for their return home. It is imperative that Canada do all possible to accompany and facilitate their return back home.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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