CANNES -- Canadian filmmaker John Greyson and physician Dr. Tarek Loubani have been freed by Egyptian authorities following their imprisonment in Cairo since Aug. 16.
"Christmas comes early this year! Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to #freejohnand tarek," Cecilia Greyson, sister of the Canadian filmmaker, said on her Twitter account Sunday.
Minister of state for foreign affairs Lynne Yelich in a statement Sunday said she welcomed the release of Greyson and Loubani.
“I look forward to Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson being reunited with their families and friends, who have shown tremendous strength during this difficult time," Yelich said.
She said freedom for the Canadian filmmaker and his traveling companion followed interventions by foreign affairs minister John Baird and the Canadian embassy in Cairo.
“I wish to express our appreciation to the Egyptian authorities for providing consistent consular access,” Yelich insisted.
The end of their incarceration in deteriorating conditions followed Greyson and Loubani conducting a hunger strike starting on Sept. 16 to protest their arbitrary arrest and detention by Egyptian authorities.
The duo was passing through Cairo on their way to Gaza where Loubani was due to conduct a medical aid project and Greyson was preparing for a film project when they were arrested.