Atom Egoyan, Michael Ondaatje, Alex Gibney and Sarah Polley used the Toronto International Film Festival as a platform to voice their appeal to release John Greyson and Tarek Loubani.
John Greyson is a filmmaker from Toronto, who has been held in an Egyptian jail since August 16, 2013. Egoyan read out the outlines of Greyson's achievements in a letter which has already been signed by over 300 writers, academics and filmmakers. The noted personalities who signed the petition include Errol Morris, Ben Affleck, Mira Nair, Mark Ruffalo, Mike Leigh and Thandie Newton. Ondaatje, too, gave an additional list of international authors that include Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy and Alice Munroe.
Tarek Loubani is a doctor from Ontario, who accompanied Greyson while he was scouting for a documentary film. Both of them tried to enter Gaza where the filming was supposed to be held. However, they were not allowed to do so and were turned back at the border. Loubani was apparently supervising the training of local doctors for the film. Later, Greyson and Loubani were taken into custody in Cairo.
Cecilia, Greyson's sister, told AFP that they had not been involved in anything going on in Egypt. They must be released, she demanded. Cecilia organised the press meeting, where the appeal to release Greyson and Loubani was made public. The petition has been circulating in the festival and had already been signed by 110,000 people.
Cecilia showed her concern that the arrest of the innocent duo might be forgotten. She seemed pretty worried about the well-being and safety of both who are supposed to meet Egyptian prosecutors Thursday. Cecilia has every reason to be anxious because the case is being handled by a foreign legal system which she has not been much accustomed to. The case may also get delayed for a considerably longer period, as the country has already been dealing with its own share of turbulence.
It must be noted that Orwa Nyrabia was freed from prison after a statement had been issued at the Toronto International Film Festival last year to release the Syrian filmmaker.
Video courtesy: YouTube/xtraonline
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