Two Canadian men held in Egyptian prison since Aug. 16 end two-week hunger strike

Two Canadians who have been detained in an Egyptian prison for more than a month have ended a hunger strike they began more than two weeks ago.

Dr. Tarek Loubani of London, Ont., and John Greyson of Toronto were arrested in Cairo on Aug. 16 and have yet to face formal charges.

A website set up to draw attention to their case posted a statement Wednesday evening saying Loubani and Greyson ‘‘have resumed eating solid food under medical supervision.‘‘

The statement adds that both men have seen a doctor and were visited Wednesday by staff from the Canadian embassy.

Loubani and Greyson began their hunger strike on Sept. 16 to draw attention to their detention leading up to a hearing slated for Sept. 30.

A secondary demand was more exercise time while in custody and the website statement says, ‘‘this was won.‘

”While we are relieved, we do not believe that freeing them has become less urgent,” the message stated..

In their first comments on their ordeal, Greyson and Loubani said in a statement released Saturday that they have been subjected to degrading conditions.

They said they had left their Cairo hotel to watch an anti-government protest when Loubani heard calls for a doctor and began treating wounded demonstrators while Greyson began recording the bloody unrest on video.

The men were later arrested by police while heading back to their hotel.

Egyptian prosecutors have accused Loubani and Greyson of “participating with members of the Muslim Brotherhood” in an attack on a police station, but have not brought forward specific charges.

The two Canadians said in their statement on Saturday that they were beaten and dumped in a squalid, cockroach-infested jail cell crammed with other inmates.

Foreign Minister John Baird said last Sunday that he had spoken with his Egyptian counterpart for an hour on Friday about the detained Canadians, but efforts are not progressing as hoped.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.