John Greyson, a Toronto filmmaker and York University professor, left, and Dr. Tarek Loubani of London, Ont. The two Canadians were released from an Egyptian jail after being held without charge for seven weeks and have now been given the green light to leave the country. Family photos/Canadian Press
Canadians John Greyson and Tarek Loubani have left Egypt after being detained for seven weeks without charge and are on their way home to Canada.
Their left Cairo by air at about 9:40 a.m. local time Friday, expecting to arrive in Toronto at 7:25 p.m. ET
"We cannot wait to see our families, who will be waiting for us in the city where we can share hugs, tears and laughs privately," they said in a statement. "We can't wait!"
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 message via Twitter saying: "Safe travels #johnandtarek #wheelsup" that linked to the statement.
It had been reported earlier that the pair were on a flight to Frankfurt, Germany, en route to Canada.
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 charge.
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 that their return to Canada was imminent. At Cairo airport, however, they were not allowed to board a flight to Germany and were told their names were on a no-fly list.
Since then, the men had been living in a Cairo hotel while lawyers pushed for their release.