Greyson and Loubani on hunger strike: How you can help them
It’s now nearly 50 days since Toronto filmmaker John Greyson and London, Ontario Doctor Tarek Loubani were arrested by Egyptian police while on their way to Gaza. They are on the 16th day of a hunger strike against their treatment and detention without charge.
John was very active in the anti-apartheid movement in the 1980s in support of the release from prison of those detained in the famous Delmas Treason Trial. Recently John has been active in the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement to pressure Israel to end the occupation of the Palestinian lands.
It was this commitment that led him and Dr. Tarek Loubani to Egypt en route to Gaza. Tarek was to perform humanitarian medical work in Gaza and John was to document his work. They were caught up in the events of the coup in Egypt and arrested. I would like to invite you to join the international call for the immediate release of John and Tarek. Sign the petition here:
Egyptian officials have given no clear reason for their arrest. The family and friends of John and Tarek are very concerned about their safety. John is a friend of progressive causes internationally and in South Africa. They are being detained in a small overcrowded cell infested with roaches. They are not receiving even the half hour a day exercise required by prison regulations.
South Africans can help by joining the call on our government to ask our Ambassador in Egypt to intervene and assist in securing the release of John and Tarek.
Below is a letter that Zackie Achmat, Nodi Murphy and I have sent to South Africa’s Deputy Minister of International Relations, Mr Marius Fransman at fransmanm [at] dirco.gov.za.
You can easily sign and send the letter by going to this webpage: http://eduardgrebe.net/johnandtarek/
Dear Minister Fransman
We note with concern the continued detention without charge in Egypt of two Canadian citizens, Prof John Greyson and Dr Tarek Loubani.
They were detained in Egypt on August 16 en route to Gaza where Dr Loubani was to perform humanitarian medical work and John Greyson was to make a documentary.
John Greyson has been a long standing friend of South Africa and was active in the anti-apartheid movement in Canada, producing significant film work which supported the anti-apartheid struggle. Recently he has been active in supporting the call for freedom for Palestinian people in the occupied territories and in Israel — a position shared by our government. We have no hesitation in vouching for John and Tarek and draw your attention to the numerous letters of support calling for their release from Canadian Members of Parliament and leading academic institutions.
Professor Greyson and Dr Loubani are now on the 16th day of a hunger strike in protest against their treatment and detention without charge. Bearing in mind John Greyson’s long association with South Africa, we request that the South African Government and our ambassador to Egypt pursue all lines of communication with the Egyptian authorities to insist that John Greyson and Tarek Loubani be charged or released without delay.
Please advise us of the action you will take in response to this appeal.
Zackie Achmat Nodi Murphy (Director OIA Film Festival) Jack Lewis (Board Member OIA)
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