Two Cdns trapped in Egypt release video
CAIRO - Two Canadians who remain trapped in Egypt after being released from jail have made their first appearance in an online video thanking supporters.
John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, who were detained for seven weeks in Cairo, appear healthy and upbeat as they speak in the 66-second video posted Wednesday to YouTube.
Greyson says that after "50 days inside, three days outside" it was time for the pair to say "hi" to their friends, family and those who supported them since they were jailed on Aug. 16 in the midst of anti-government demonstrations.
The Toronto filmmaker says that while the "ordeal's not over" they thought they'd say hello, with a smiling Loubani expressing thanks to those who aided them and pressed for their release.
While the two men were let go this past weekend from a Cairo jail they've described as squalid, it's not yet clear when Egyptian authorities will allow them to fly home.
A spokesman for Egypt's Foreign Affairs Ministry has said the men remained under active investigation, and that it's up to an investigative judge to decide when they are free to return to Canada.
Greyson's sister Cecilia has blamed the holdup on unspecified bureaucratic glitches. She has said the men are currently in a safe location with consular officials, and are using the downtime to adjust to their freedom.
Foreign Affairs has said it's working to ensure the duo can leave Egypt.
In the video recorded in front of a nondescript background, Greyson and Loubani appear energetic, with Greyson at one point flashing the "peace" sign.
"We're very touched and overwhelmed. We're just getting the sense now of the incredible support that was there that came together from every corner â€” Canadians, people around the world, people in Egypt â€” to make this day possible," said Greyson, speaking in a clear voice.
"We're stuck a bit. The ordeal's not over. But for now we thought we'd say 'Hi. Peace.'"
"Thank you so much for all of your help," beams Loubani, a London, Ont., emergency room doctor.
Greyson and Loubani had said in a statement released last month they planned to stay in the Egyptian capital only briefly on their way to Gaza, but couldn't cross the border due to the unrest.
They were arrested after leaving the scene of the protests and Egyptian prosecutors later accused them of attacking a police station with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Their statement said they were beaten before being dumped in a cell with others swept up during the chaos. At one point during their ordeal, the pair staged a 16-day hunger strike to try to press Egyptian officials to release them.