Two Canadians arrested in Egypt to appear before prosecutor, could be released

Two Canadians arrested in Cairo nearly two weeks ago could be released as early as Thursday.

The two men, London, Ont., doctor Tarek Loubani and Toronto filmmaker John Greyson, were detained Aug. 16 amid deadly riots in the Egyptian capital.

They were in Cairo trying to make their way to Gaza where Loubani was teaching emergency room medicine and Greyson was scoping out a documentary.

Their lawyer is scheduled to appear before a prosecutor Thursday afternoon (2 p.m. Cairo time, 8 a.m. ET), along with a senior Canadian government official, and plead the case for release.

Friends and family members of the two men have taken to social media and used diplomatic channels to pressure Egypt into releasing them.

Canadian foreign affairs officials have said it appeared the men were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were detained.

But Egyptian prosecutors have accused them of “participating with members of the Muslim Brotherhood” in an attack on a police station.

Greyson and Loubani have been meeting this week with their lawyer, Adam Khaled El Shalakany.

They also met with consular officials and were reported to be in good condition.

“We are optimistic (about their release),” said Justin Podur, a friend who has been spearheading efforts to get the men out of a Cairo jail.

“We have assembled all the documentation to prove that they are a physician and filmmaker on their way to train doctors and take footage in al-Shifa hospital,” he said.

“But we are also aware that the prosecutor could easily extend the investigation period for another 15 days.”