Canadians detained in Egypt question why they were arrested in statement 0
Supporters listen to speeches at a rally calling for the government to help free Londoner Dr. Tarek Loubani and Toronto filmmaker John Greyson from an Egyptian jail on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. (CRAIG GLOVER / QMI AGENCY)
Tarek Loubani and John Greyson, the two Canadians holed up in a cockroach-infested Egyptian prison since Aug. 16, issued a statement Saturday explaining why they feel they were arrested.
The London emergency doctor and the Toronto-based filmmaker say it all began when they decided to check out a protest in Ramses Square in Cairo and heard calls for a doctor.
"Tarek snapped into doctor mode...and started to work doing emergency response, trying to save lives, while John did video documentation, shooting a record of the carnage that was unfolding. The wounded and dying never stopped coming. Between us, we saw over fifty Egyptians die: students, workers, professionals, professors, all shapes, all ages, unarmed."
The two say they were arrested when they asked for help at a check point while trying to return to their hotel.
"That's when we were: arrested, searched, caged, questioned, interrogated, videotaped with a 'Syrian terrorist', slapped, beaten, ridiculed, hot-boxed, refused phone calls, stripped, shaved bald, accused of being foreign mercenaries. Was it our Canadian passports, or the footage of Tarek performing CPR, or our ice cream wrappers that set them off? They screamed 'Canadian' as they kicked and hit us. John had a precisely etched bootprint bruise on his back for a week."
Loubani and Greyson are on the 12th day of their hunger strike at Tora, Cairo's main prison, "sharing a 3m x 10m cell with 36 other political prisoners, sleeping like sardines on concrete with the cockroaches; sharing a single tap of earthy Nile water.
"We deserve due process, not cockroaches on concrete. We demand to be released."
Egyptian officials maintain the two were part of a conspiracy to attack a police station.