On August 17, 2013, Dr. Tarek Loubani, an assistant professor at Western, and John Greyson, an associate professor at York, were arrested and imprisoned in Egypt. OCUFA, CAUT, and faculty associations across Canada have taken action to urge the Government of Canada to do everything possible to effect their release. Below, please find the letter written by Kate Lawson, President of OCUFA, to the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada. Copies were also sent to Wael Aboul-Magd, Ambassador of Egypt to Canada, and David Drake, Canada’s ambassador to Egypt.
Dear Minister Baird;
On behalf of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA), I am writing to express my concern about the imprisonment in Egypt of Dr. Tarek Loubani and Professor John Greyson after their arrest by police in Cairo, on August 17, 2013.
I know you, your staff, and Foreign Affairs Canada have been investigating this matter. I thank you for your work so far, and urge you to intensify your efforts over the coming days. The unlawful detention of any Canadian is cause for serious concern and action. This case has also affected Ontario’s 17,000 professors and academic librarians deeply, as Dr. Loubani and Professor Greyson are respected colleagues, outstanding educators, and committed humanitarians. At the time of their arrest, they were en route to the Gaza Strip for an academic and medical partnership with a local hospital. Securing their timely release will allow them to continue their important work.
We join with faculty associations across Canada, and the Canadian Association of University Teachers, in calling for every diplomatic effort possible to free Dr. Loubani and Professor Greyson. If OCUFA can be of any assistance in this matter, we stand ready to provide help wherever possible and appropriate.
Kate Lawson, President
Ontarian Confederation of University Faculty Associations
An online petition has also been organized. Please take the time to add your name to those calling for the release of Tarek and John: www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1943&src=unicontacts
You can also send a letter to Minister Baird at the following address:The Honourable John Baird Minister of Foreign Affairs Canada 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G2