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Canadian government needs to do more to help free Tarek and John from Egyptian prison

Once again Conservative ideology has trumped what's right.

Prominent Toronto filmmaker/professor John Greyson and London, Ontario, physician/professor Tarek Loubani have been locked up in an Egyptian jail for nearly 40 days.

After a prosecutor recently extended their detention by 15 days, these two courageous individuals launched a hunger strike demanding their release or to at least be allowed two hours a day in the fenced-in prison yard.


Hunger strike: Canadians jailed in Egypt refuse food to protest arbitrary detention

The following press release was issued yesterday by supporters of the immediate release of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, two Canadians who have been jailed for over a month in Egypt. 

 Canadian filmmaker, John Greyson, and emergency room physician, Tarek Loubani, have informed friends and supporters through their Egyptian lawyers that they will be refusing food beginning September the 16 to protest the arbitrary nature of their detention by Egyptian authorities.


The human toll of Egypt's coup

Monia Mazigh analyzes the brutal fallout of Egypt's coup.

Related story:


Egypt's coup: The cycle of vengeance is on

Photo: Mohammed Abdel Moneim/Globovisión/flickr

"I told you so!" These were the exact words of Ayman al-Zawahiri, first-in-command of al-Qaeda, to the Egyptian people after the July military coup by General al-Sisi that dashed "Arab Awakening" hopes. His message seems to be resonating with a younger generation of Egyptians who saw their votes being taken away by the military junta.

Himself an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahiri had always lectured the Arabs and those who were willing to listen to him about being careful not to fall into the trap of the "western democratic game." His tactics worked well in Afghanistan, in Chechnya, in Algeria… where many young men took up arms and went to defend their countries against western invasion and the "evil democratization" that it brings with it.

Filmmakers and artists at TIFF call on Egypt to release John Greyson and Tarek Loubani

Members of the Toronto International Film Festival community came together Tuesday morning to call for the immediate release of award-winning filmmaker John Greyson and emergency room doctor Tarek Loubani.

The two Canadians were traveling to Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza when they were detained in a Cairo prison and where they've been held without formal charges since August 16.

Loubani, who is an Assistant professor at the School of Medicine at Western University, was to teach critical care procedures to doctors and hospital staff. Greyson was invited to film Loubani's work at the hospital. Their arrest came after they asked for directions back to their hotel at a police station.


Egypt's military coup: A new age of dictatorship

Before President Mohamad Morsi had barely warmed his seat as head of state, demonstrations prompted Egypt's military to remove him from office. After one year, the country's first democratically elected president was now held at an undisclosed location. It was the only way, the military argued, that Egypt could be saved from political polarization and violence; the only way the country could restore democracy and avoid descending into chaos. But what has occurred over the last two months of military rule has been nothing short of chaotic.

Rabaa massacre 


The Right to Live in Peace: Forty years on, the coup in Chile still has lessons for us today

Aerial bombings, tanks in the streets, widespread terrorizing of civilians by soldiers and secret police: this was the horror unleashed on September 11, 1973 by the military coup d’état in Chile. Led by Augusto Pinochet and other generals with U.S. backing, the coup overthrew President Salvador Allende's democratically elected Popular Unity government, and brought in a brutal military dictatorship that lasted for 17 years.

Canada's official attitude towards the coup might be politely called 'ambivalent.' Some Canadian banks and mining interests openly supported the military take-over as a good investment opportunity. Our ambassador to Chile's rather sympathetic attitude toward the generals led to a rapid recognition of the military junta.


The RCMP came knocking -- because I oppose the coup in Egypt

Two officers from the Integrated National Security Enforcement Team of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) came to see me and informed me that they received a tip (or complaint/warning) that I am a member of the 'Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group' based in Montreal.  I understood that this allegation is related to my position and organizing against the coup d'etat that took place in my country of birth, Egypt, in early July.

This is of course a completely bogus allegation on many levels, and it doesn't worry me in the least. What worries me is the state of mind of the people who support the anti-democratic coup, whether they live in Egypt or abroad.


Rally in front of Canadian Parliament against the coup and for democracy in Egypt

Saturday, September 7, 2013 - 3:00pm


Parliament Hill, Ottawa Ottawa, ON
45° 25' 17.508" N, 75° 41' 49.8948" W

Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy invites you to Join the protest support democracy and denounce violence, massacres committed by the military coup and the illegitimate government in Egypt, Demand the freedom of Canadian citizens arrested in Egypt, Tarek Loubani and John Greyson.

Saturday, September 7, 2013 3:00 p.m. in front of the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa.

Demonstration will proceed to the Egyptian embassy to deliver an open letter to the ambassador.

Revolution? On Egypt, Syria and the Arab Spring

Ever since the beginning of the Arab Spring there has been much talk of revolutions. Not from me. I've argued against the position that mass uprisings on their own constitute a revolution, i.e., a transfer of power from one social class (or even a layer) to another that leads to fundamental change. The actual size of the crowd is not a determinant unless the participants in their majority have a clear set of social and political aims. If they do not, they will always be outflanked by those who do or by the state that will recapture lost ground very rapidly.


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