'Hi, it's John ...' Freed from Egyptian prison, Canadian phones home - Macleans.ca
 

‘Hi, it’s John …’ Freed from Egyptian prison, Canadian phones home

John Greyson and Dr. Tarek Loubani released from Cairo jail


 

TORONTO – A relative of one of the two Canadians freed from an Egyptian prison cell says the pair are waiting for paperwork to be cleared up before they can return home.

John Greyson’s sister Cecilia says he and Doctor Tarek Loubani are currently safe and sound in a hotel following their surprise release Sunday after a seven week stint in a Cairo prison.

Cecilia Greyson says that while the men have their passports there’s still some “red tape” that must be dealt with before they can finally leave Egypt.

She says consular officials are working with the men to speed up their return to Canada, a process she expects could take days.

It appears the red tape was sticky enough to prevent the pair from leaving Sunday, according to a report from The Associated Press.

The AP reported the two Canadians tried to board a plane to Frankfurt, Germany but were prevented after their names appeared on a “stop-list” issued by prosecutors, attributing the information to airport officials.

Greyson and Loubani retrieved their luggage and were free to leave the airport, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Despite the hitch in their departure, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he remains optimistic the two Canadians will soon be coming home.

“It’s now our view at the moment, based on what we know, that this is just a case of lack of clarity and co-ordination within the bureaucracy,” Harper told a media briefing in Bali, Indonesia where he`s attending the Asia-Pacific leaders summit that begins Monday.

“So we’re optimistic it will be resolved in the very near future, but obviously we’ll continue to focus on this until it is resolved and we see these Canadians back in the country,” he said.

Greyson and Loubani were arrested Aug. 16 during violent anti-government demonstrations in Cairo and detained in what they’ve called squalid conditions.

Cecilia Greyson said her brother, a Toronto based filmmaker, and Lubani, an emergency room physician from London, Ont., had no clue they were going to be let go when their cell door swung open on Sunday.

“They just got a knock on the cell door and they were just sort of shuffled out of the cell,” she said her brother told her in a telephone call immediately after he was released.

“He actually thought they were changing cells or going to a different prison. So he was as surprised as anyone else about their release.”

Cecilia Greyson said when the phone rang she had no idea it was her brother calling.

“I think he just said, ‘Hi, it’s John,’ and I sort of screamed and started to cry.”

Greyson and Loubani were accused by authorities in Cairo of joining in an attack on a police station, but they were never charged.

Egyptian officials have not commented on what was behind their decision to free them.


 
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‘Hi, it’s John …’ Freed from Egyptian prison, Canadian phones home

  1. What were these two clowns doing trying to get into Gaza?

    • Gaza is managed by Israel. It has been reported that Israel is a democracy with parties in opposition to the coalition government.

      The Israeli government is run by a bunch of clowns. Maybe they are posing as government officials. Maybe they are posing as members of the opposition. Who knows.

      Thanks for asking the question. Do you have a conspiracy theory?

      • Ever been to the Gaza, west bank, Egypt, or Israel? The Egyptians dislike the Palestinians as much as the Israelis. Not to mention Israel is a garden and the west bank and Gaza are garbage pits

  2. This comment was deleted.

    • I can say with certainty that most Canadians don’t care what you think Doreen Beisel.

    • Frankly most Canadians care if our passport means something and that we can’t just get thrown in jail in a country where the police are in arrest mode. Frankly most Canadians appreciate, and donate to, humanitarians who go to parts of the world that the rest of us are scared to visit. Frankly, I don’t think you speak for Canadians.