We call for the immediate release of Professor John Greyson and his colleague Dr. Tarek Loubani from custody in Egypt. It is our belief that their arrest was motivated at least in part by Professor Greyson’s film footage of the events in Cairo that day, and as a profession committed to freedom of expression and freedom of speech we find the silencing of these two important Canadians to be deeply troubling.
Prof. Greyson was arrested in Cairo on his way to make a film in Gaza with Dr. Tarek Loubani, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, London, Ontario. Dr. Loubani has for the last two years conducted an academic and medical collaboration between Western University Hospital’s emergency department and the al-Shifa Hospital, the main hospital in the Gaza Strip. This project has seen Canadian doctors train Palestinian physicians in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS). With each visit Dr. Loubani has brought witnesses to observe conditions in Gaza1. This year he invited Prof. Greyson. On arriving in Cairo on Friday, August 16 they found the border to Gaza shut. They were arrested the next day while asking for directions at a police checkpoint, after providing medical assistance to wounded and dying Egyptians. These men should be celebrated for their heroism, not beaten and incarcerated.
We are respectfully asking the Egyptian authorities to release Prof. Greyson and Dr. Loubani. We thank Minister Baird and Prime Minister Harper for their efforts to date, but also urge the Canadian government to intensify their efforts to get these two Canadian citizens released and home to their loved ones and communities, of which they are a much valued part. We join with faculty associations, professional associations, student associations, and cultural organizations in calling for every diplomatic effort possible to free Dr. Loubani and Prof. Greyson. The unlawful detention of any Canadian, or any person at all, is unacceptable.
1. Global News report