Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Appeal to federal government and Minister Baird to secure the freedom of Dr. Loubani and Professor Greyson

Appeal to federal government and Minister Baird to secure the freedom of Dr. Loubani and Professor Greyson

On Friday August 16th, Tarek Loubani, a Canadian emergency physician and John Greyson, a Canadian filmmaker and professor at York University were arrested by Egyptian authorities. They are being held against their will and without charge. 31 days later, Tarek and John are still being held in Cairo's Tora prison. This weekend, the Cairo district prosecutor announced that he would extend their detention period for a further 15 days.

When arrested, Tarek and John were on their way to Gaza -- where Tarek was continuing a medical collaboration that has been established between the University of Western Ontario, where he works, and the Emergency Department of Al Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest hospital, while John was conducting preparatory work for a film project in Gaza. Dr. Loubani is a passionate and committed advocate for refugees. Professor Greyson’s work in film has been recognized internationally for its positive activism.

There have been national and international mobilization efforts to secure their release. Emergency room doctors, nurses and staff in London, Ontario have been wearing a special ID badge, among other actions. The New York Times reports that filmmaker Sarah Polley and others at the Toronto International Film Festival joined in a public demand that Egyptian authorities free the two Canadians. Updates on the growing mobilization for their release, including actions by a number of health-care organizations, can be found here.

In a statement on Friday, 13 September, RNAO added its voice to the growing list of individuals and organizations appealing to the Canadian government and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to pressure the Egyptian government to secure their immediate release.

What can YOU do?

After a month of detention without charges in a crowded cell with 38 other inmates, a single sink, and one toilet, it is clear that only escalating action by thousands of concerned people will create the pressure that will bring about their release.

Let’s add the voice of nurses to the thousands who have expressed their outrage at their arbitrary detention:

  1. Sign and send the letter below demanding that John Baird, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, and Wael Aboul-Magd, Egyptian Ambassador to Canada, take immediate action to release John and Tarek.
  2. Add your name to the more than 100,000 people who have signed the online petition demanding their release -- here.
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