Canadian Ambassador David Drake met with Prosecutor General Hisham Barkat on Tuesday to discuss the case of two Canadian citizens who were released from prison only to find themselves subject to a travel ban when they attempted to leave the airport.
Media director for the Prosecutor General’s office Ahmed El-Rakeeb confirmed that Barakat met with Drake and “discussed the case” of Tarek Loubani and John Greyson. He was unable to provide any further details about the meeting.
The law office handling the case confirmed on Monday that it had filed an application to the Prosecutor General to lift the travel ban. An associate at the law office said that the circumstances of their release were not clear and could impact on whether or not the ban would be lifted. The office said it was unable to comment on the case when contacted on Tuesday.
Adria Minsky, spokeswoman for Canada’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Lynne Yelich said on Monday night, “We are aware of possible bureaucratic complications but Canadian officials continue to work tirelessly to facilitate Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson’s departure from Egypt.” She added, “We look forward to seeing these two Canadians return home shortly.”
Loubani and Greyson spent 50 days in Tora Prison with no formal charges announced against them. They were accused of “participating in violent protests and resisting security forces,” according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A letter from the Canadians published during their detention claimed that they were beaten by police, an allegation denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In their letter, Loubani and Greyson also deplored the conditions they were being held in.
The pair were detained on 16 August following violent clashes between demonstrators and security forces on Ramses Street, which the pair witnessed. They were intending to go to Gaza where Loubani, a doctor, was to provide training for Gazan doctors and Greyson, an award winning filmmaker, intended to make a short film. The pair claims they were detained when asking security forces at a checkpoint for directions back to their hotel.