Target: Interim President of Egypt Adly Mahmoud Mansour
Goal: Secure the release of two Canadians arrested in Egypt during recent protests.
The past summer has been one of intense political turmoil for Egypt, as President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power and widespread protests ensued. Canadians Dr. Tarek Loubani and Prof. John Greyson found themselves caught up in the conflict when they were arrested by security forces. Sign the petition and demand that the Egyptian government either present tangible evidence of the charges against Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson or let them go immediately and unconditionally.
Neither Dr. Loubani nor Prof. Greyson had any intention of staying in Egypt, much less becoming involved in local events and political clashes. Both men had plans to travel on to Gaza immediately, where they both had professional commitments, but they were forced to remain in Cairo upon finding the border with Gaza closed. The pair was in the vicinity of a large protest when they approached security forces, seeking directions to their hotel. The interaction ended with Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson being arrested on charges of “destroying public property,” “violence,” “carrying weapons,” and “inciting violence,” according to Amnesty International.
A Public Prosecutor ordered the two men held for about two weeks while he investigated the charges. He then extended the hold for another two weeks, a time frame which has since passed. Amnesty International fears that Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson, like many others held as a result of the protests, are being “charged with a broad array of [offenses] without apparent consideration of their individual criminal responsibility.”
Although the men have been allowed access to both lawyers and consulate officials, their detention is a travesty. Sign the petition and demand that the Egyptian government either present legitimate evidence of Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson’s alleged crimes or release them immediately.
I am writing to express my concern over the arrests of Dr. Tarek Loubani and Prof. John Greyson, both of Canada. The men have been held since August 16 on a number of charges, including “destroying public property,” “violence,” “carrying weapons,” and “inciting violence.” No evidence of their crimes has been offered, even after the Public Prosecutor renewed their initial fifteen-day detention for another fifteen days. I demand that, in the absence of legitimate evidence of the charges against them, Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson be released immediately.
Neither Dr. Loubani nor Prof. Greyson had any intention of staying in Egypt, let alone becoming swept up in local political clashes. Dr. Loubani was trying to get to the university hospital in Gaza to conduct business related to his hospital in Canada, while Prof. Greyson, a filmmaker, was planning to document current events in Gaza. Both men were forced to remain in Cairo when they found the border to Gaza closed. At the time of their arrest, they were simply trying to ask security forces for directions to their hotel.
The flimsiness of the case against Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson justifies their immediate and unconditional release. The Public Prosecutor has had ample opportunity to bring any legitimate charges against the men; their prolonged imprisonment is both unnecessary and disgraceful. Egypt must seek justice, not needless persecution. Release Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson immediately.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Violet Paradise via Flickr