US & Canada

Canadians detained in Egypt fly home

John Greyson (left) and Tarek Loubani
Image caption The two men were detained in Cairo in mid-August

Two Canadians held without charge for seven weeks and then barred from leaving Egypt have flown home.

Filmmaker John Greyson and Dr Tarek Loubani said in a statement they boarded a flight on Friday morning.

"It's over," they said, calling for 600 detainees who were arrested on the same day as them to be charged or freed.

The two were accused of taking part in deadly political clashes in Cairo. They were never charged and said they had been treated with brutality.

Dr Loubani said he was just helping injured protesters while Mr Greyson filmed the violence following a demonstration in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.

The Canadians said they saw at least 50 protesters killed on 15 August.

'We can't wait'

Released from prison last weekend, the two were not allowed to leave the country after being placed on a no-fly list.

"We cannot wait to see our families, who will be waiting for us in the city where we can share hugs, tears and laughs privately," Mr Greyson and Dr Loubani said in a statement. "We can't wait!"

Badr Abdel-Atty, a spokesman for Egypt's foreign ministry, said the two had been accused of participating in illegal protests.

Mr Abdel-Atty said the accusations against them had been dropped.

Lynne Yelich, Canada's state minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement that the country "welcomed their return".

"I thank the government of Egypt for its considerable assistance in this matter and for providing regular consular access," Ms Yelich said.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird had previously warned Egypt that Mr Greyson and Dr Loubani's imprisonment was a significant threat to relations between the two countries.

Hundreds of Islamist protesters have died in violence since the Egyptian military deposed Mr Morsi in July, 13 months after he was elected as president.

He and other senior Brotherhood figures have been imprisoned and face trial.

The authorities are moving to seize the movement's assets after its activities were banned as part of a crackdown.

However, Brotherhood supporters have continued to take to the streets to protest - albeit in smaller numbers than before.

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