Two Canadians arrested in Egypt and held without charge since mid-August will be detained for another two weeks, Canadian press reported Sunday.
Friends of Tarek Loubani and John Greyson said the men were told Sunday that they would be held for another 15 days, adding that no reasons were provided by Egyptian authorities, daily newspaper The Globe and Mail said.
An Egyptian prosecutor has ordered Greyson and Loubani to spend at least another 15 days behind bars in Cairo, according to The Toronto Star.
After numerous delays, consular staff and lawyers representing Greyson and Loubani finally had two brief meetings with prosecutor Mohamed Heta over the weekend, the paper added.
The Toronto Star quoted Greyson’s sister, Cecilia Greyson, as saying “We are now certain that John and Tarek’s detention is completely arbitrary, and the process they face lacks any semblance of fairness or credibility.”
Loubani, a doctor from London, Ont., and Greyson, a Toronto university professor and filmmaker, were detained Aug. 16 during deadly riots in Cairo.
The two were en route to Gaza, where Loubani planned to teach emergency-room medicine and Greyson was considering producing a documentary.
Canadian foreign affairs officials have said it appears the men were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were detained.
Their case has attracted some high-profile support. Some 300 directors, actors and writers at the Toronto International Film Festival – including Atom Agoyan, Michael Ondaatje and Sarah Polley – released an open letter last week urging their release.
Lynne Yellich, the Conservative government’s secretary of state for foreign and consular affairs, issued a statement saying the government is “disappointed” to hear of the extended detention.