TORONTO – Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are calling for “immediate, strong, and decisive action” to free John Greyson and Tarek Loubani from arbitrary detention in Egpyt. Faculty association leaders made their call in a unanimous motion passed at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA).
“John and Tarek have been unjustly detained by a foreign government, and are suffering in appalling conditions,” said Kate Lawson, President of OCUFA. “We are calling upon the Prime Minister to take every possible action to secure their timely release and return to Canada.”
Greyson is a respected filmmaker and a professor at York University, and Loubani is an emergency room physician and a professor at Western University. The pair was arrested by Egyptian police on August 16th, while en route to a hospital in Gaza. Since that time, they have been held in overcrowded, vermin infested, and unsanitary prison cells for 46 days without charge. For nearly two weeks Greyson and Loubani have been on a hunger strike protesting their imprisonment. On September 29th, Egyptian authorities announced that the two Canadians would be held for at least an additional 45 days.
“The time for routine diplomacy is over,” said Lawson. “Ontario’s professors and academic librarians are united in their call for stronger measures to free John and Tarek. Prime Minister Harper should immediately begin examining economic and political actions that will force the Egyptian government to release these valued colleagues, inspirational humanitarians, and Canadian citizens.”
Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 27 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at http://www.ocufa.on.ca. For more information on how to help John and Tarek, please visit www.tarekandjohn.com.