Harper government disappointed that Canadians still detained in Egypt

Andy Radia

The Harper government has issued a statement on the arrest and continued detainment of two Canadians in Egypt.

The statement, released late Tuesday afternoon, is attributed to Minister Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs).

“Today, at the request of Egypt's Ambassador to Canada, Minister Baird and I had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing situation in Egypt, as well as to express our concern about the latest developments regarding Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson.

“We were disappointed to learn today that Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson will continue to be held in detention.

“The Government of Canada is deeply disappointed by this decision as there continues to be a lack of evidence.

“The Egyptian Ambassador has committed to press for a timely and positive resolution to this matter.

“Canada will continue to engage with the highest levels until this matter is resolved.”

Doctor Tarek Loubani, an emergency room physician from London, Ontario and Toronto-based filmmaker John Greyson were arrested last weekend while in Cairo as part of a crackdown by the Egyptian military against protesters in support of the Muslim Brotherhood and ousted leader Mohammed Morsi.

Sources told CTV News, that the duo was detained while visiting a police station looking for directions to their hotel.

[ Related: Canadians in Egypt reportedly arrested while asking police for directions ]

Egypt has been in the midst of violence since the protests began in early July. According to BBC News, almost 900 people have been killed since last Wednesday.

[ More Politics: Stephen Harper slammed for attending partisan events during northern tour ]

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is lashing out against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for suggesting that Israel was behind the coup to overthrow Morsi.

The White House also condemned the Turkey PM's comments.

"We strongly condemn the statements that were made by Prime Minister Erdogan today, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, according to Reuters.

"Suggesting that Israel is somehow responsible for recent events in Egypt is offensive, unsubstantiated, and wrong."

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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