Two Canadians, a filmmaker and an ER doctor, have been arrested in Egypt after failing to comply with the imposed curfew amidst the violence and protests in the country of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Arrested were John Greyson, a Toronto based filmmaker and York University professor, and Tarek Loubani, an emergency room doctor in London, Ontario. Their arrests reached headlines after Justin Podur, a friend to both, advised the Canadian consular offices.
Mr Loubani reportedly called Mr Podur on Friday to alert their arrest. In their conversation, Mr Podur sensed Mr Loubani was trying to be calm.
"We don't know what the charges could be against them ... which is, of course, the case for hundreds of people right now," Mr Podur told CTV News Channel on Sunday.
Mr Loubani reportedly narrated to Mr Podur that he and Mr Greyson where on their way to Gaza to visit a local hospital as part of requirements for an ongoing project with the University of Western Ontario. Mr Greyson reportedly tagged along to research material for a potential future film set in Gaza. Both men arrived in Egypt on Thursday.
"They were intending to go straight to Gaza, but because of all the unrest ... the border crossing was closed," Mr Podur said. "So they ended up staying in Cairo."
Caitlin Workman, Canadian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman, said the Canadian embassy in Cairo is working with local authorities and consular assistance has been provided for the two nationals.
"They're in an Egyptian prison in one of the worst weeks in Egyptian history," Mr Podur said.
Mr Podur said both men were arrested around 10 p.m. on Friday, which is after a government-imposed curfew in Cairo. However, Mr Podur cannot confirm if they were picked up and arrested with several hundred others or were specifically targeted for another reason.
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