2 Canadians said arrested in Cairo

Aug. 19, 2013 at 8:00 AM
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CAIRO, Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A Canadian doctor and a filmmaker are believed to have been arrested by authorities in Cairo, wrote a friend of the two on his blog, Haaretz reported Monday.

Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor at the University of Western Ontario and John Greyson, a professor at the Department of Film at York University, had planned to visit the Gaza Strip and were last heard from on Friday, their friend, Justin Podur, an associate professor at the York University of Environmental Studies, wrote on his Internet journal, the Israeli newspaper said.

Podur said Loubani is also one of the architects of a joint Canadian-Gazan collaboration project that trains doctors in Gaza in Advanced Life Support and Advanced Trauma Life Support.

He said Loubani called him Friday night to say they were being arrested, and since then their whereabouts are unknown.

"The two arrived in Cairo on August 15 with the intention of traveling to Gaza immediately. Given the volatile situation in Egypt, travel to the border with Gaza was problematic and they delayed their travel plan. ... It is possible (though unconfirmed) that as an experienced field physician Tarek tried to volunteer his skills as an emergency physician. It is also possible that John, as a prominent and socially conscience filmmaker sought to accompany Tarek and observe the historical development in Egypt," Podur wrote on his blog.

Caitlin Workman, a Canadian government spokesperson, told CBC News that she is aware two Canadians were arrested in Egypt and said "I can confirm the Embassy of Canada in Cairo is in contact with local authorities and is providing consular assistance," Haaretz said.

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