John Greyson, a Toronto filmmaker and York University professor, right, and Dr. Tarek Loubani of London, Ont., were released from an Egyptian jail last weekend after being held without charge for seven weeks. They returned to Canada on Friday. CBC
Canadians John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have returned to Canada after being detained for seven weeks without charge in Egypt.
“We’re delighted to be here, to be free. We’re nervous to be home," Loubani told a crowd of reporters upon arriving at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.
"After 50 days in Tora prison, five days not being able to fly out of Cairo, here we are," he added. “We’re home because of the work of many thousands of people from all walks of life, from all stripes of the political spectrum, from Canada, from Egypt and from around the world.
“There was outrage at our arbitrary arrest and [they] spoke out for our release," he said.
Greyson and Loubani flew out of Cairo at about 9:40 a.m. local time Friday and landed in Toronto shortly before 7 p.m. ET. They emerged from behind a security door shortly before 7:30 p.m. to a round of applause from onlookers and supporters.
Earlier, Lynne Yelich, Canada's minister of state for foreign affairs and consular, said in a statement that Canada "joins the families of Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson in welcoming their return to Canada."
Yelich then sent out a tweet saying: "Safe travels #johnandtarek #wheelsup" that linked to the statement.
Greyson, a Toronto filmmaker, and Loubani, a London, Ont., doctor, had been in the country since their arrest in mid-August. The two were arrested after being caught up in violent anti-government demonstrations in Cairo, but never faced any formal charges.
They say they were detained in harsh conditions and spent most of their time in a cockroach-infested cell with dozens of other inmates.
Greyson and Loubani were suddenly released from prison last weekend, raising hopes their return to Canada was imminent. At Cairo's airport, however, they were not allowed to board a flight to Germany and were told their names were on a no-fly list.
Before making their way back to Canada, the men had been living in a Cairo hotel while lawyers pushed for their release.