Michael Riordon

the view from where I live

Free Dr Tarek Loubani & John Greyson: Open letter to Daryl Kramp, Member of Parliament

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As residents of Prince Edward-Hastings riding, we call on you to exercise your influence and responsibility in the following matter of urgent concern to all of us.

As of October 3, Canadian citizens Dr Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have already been imprisoned for 48 days by the military government in Egypt.  Recently their imprisonment was extended once again, for an additional 45 days.  They have not been charged with any offence.

In contravention of international law, the Egyptian military regime claims the right to hold them without charge for as long as two years.

We are encouraged to hear that Prime Minister Harper told Canadian media on September 29, “In the absence of charges, Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson should be released immediately.”  This is a step in the right direction, but given the degree of injustice and life-threatening circumstances it’s not enough.  The Prime Minister should be speaking directly to his counterpart in Egypt, demanding that these two Canadian citizens be released immediately and allowed to return safely to Canada.

Dr Tarek Loubani is an emergency room physician in London, Ontario; John Greyson is an award-winning film and video maker.  Both of them teach at universities in Toronto and London.  Each is highly respected in his field.

On the night of their detention, Dr Loubani was doing what his professional oath as an MD requires of him, providing emergency medical care to people who’d been attacked by soldiers in a public protest.  John Greyson was doing what he intended to do on this trip, documenting Dr Loubani’s work.

Amnesty International has called for their immediate release.  More than 145,000 people have signed an international petition demanding their immediate release.  Their release has also been demanded by the Ontario & Canadian Medical Associations, the United Church of Canada, the Presidents of York, Ryerson, Queen’s and Wilfred Laurier Universities, and many other organizations and individuals.

We call on the Prime Minister of Canada to make the same demand, immediately and directly to the appropriate Egyptian authorities.

Author: Michael Riordon

Canadian writer and documentary-maker Michael Riordon writes/ directs/produces books and articles, audio, video and film documentaries, plays for radio and stage. A primary goal of his work is to recover voices and stories of people who have been silenced or marginalized, written out of the official version: First Nations (aboriginal) youth, Mozambican farmers, inmates in Canadian prisons, traditional healers in Fiji, queer folk across Canada, Guatemalan labour activists. Michael also leads courses, workshops and seminars for community organizations, trade unions, schools, colleges and universities.

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