Video: After 50 days in an Egyptian prison, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani finally fly home to see family and supporters. Global National’s Jennifer Tryon was there for the home coming.
John Greyson and Tarek Loubani were warmly greeted by family and friends when they arrived at Toronto’s Pearson airport on Friday evening.
Greyson, a Toronto filmmaker and professor, and Loubani, a London, Ont., doctor, were arrested Aug. 16 after they said they went to check out anti-government protests in Cairo.
On scene: Greyson, Loubani arrive in Canada
They say they were beaten and held for weeks in an overcrowded jail cell that was infested with cockroaches.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and other government officials waged an aggressive campaign for their release.
The pair, who were never charged, were freed last weekend.
But they were prevented from boarding a flight out of the country that same day after their names appeared on a “stop-list” issued by prosecutors.
Badr Abdel-Atty, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, said the two were accused of participating in illegal protests and or resisting authorities during arrest, like many others during a protest by supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi.
Badr Abdel-Atty, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, said on Thursday the pair were cleared to leave Egypt.
“The prosecutor general has informed us that they are free to leave the country after the accusations against them were dropped,” Abdel-Atty told The Associated Press.
Loubani of London, Ont., and Greyson of Toronto were arrested Aug. 16 during violent anti-government demonstrations in Cairo.
Abdel-Atty said the two were accused of participating in illegal protests and or resisting authorities.
READ MORE: Who are John Greyson and Tarek Loubani?
Canada’s Minister of State, Lynne Yelich, released a brief statement on Friday regarding Greyson and Loubani’s return home.
“Canada joins the families of Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson in welcoming their return to Canada,” said the Minister of State. “I thank the Government of Egypt for its considerable assistance in this matter and for providing regular consular access.
The pair released a statement from prison last month saying they were beaten and subjected to degrading treatment in the Egyptian prison.
The two also staged a 16-day hunger strike to try to pressure Egyptian officials to release them, but started eating food again last week.
-with files from The Canadian Press