OTTAWA, Sept. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - The world's physicians are outraged over Egypt's detention without charge of a Canadian physician and filmmaker and are urging Egyptian authorities to either expedite their release or grant them a fair and speedy trial, the Canadian Medical Association said today.
"The CMA, the Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the World Medical Association demand Egyptian authorities follow the principles of natural justice and end the extended detention of Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson," said CMA President Dr. Louis Hugo Francescutti.
"It has now been more than a month and Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson remain behind bars in Egypt, without charges. I'm extremely concerned for their health and well-being, and I implore the Egyptian government, on behalf of Ontario's doctors, to immediately release them or immediately provide evidence as to why they're being detained," said Dr. Scott Wooder, President of the Ontario Medical Association.
Canadian government officials have told the CMA the two men have been moved to a better, less crowded cell at Canada's request.
The CMA discussed the matter with Lynne Yelich, the minister of state for foreign affairs who is responsible for consular cases, to examine how physicians around the world can help obtain release of the two men. This is consistent with calls by Foreign Minister John Baird and Minister Yelich for the release of the two men in the absence of charges.
The two were arrested Aug. 16 in Cairo as they were on their way to Gaza, where Dr. Loubani was scheduled to teach emergency-room medicine and Greyson was considering making a documentary.
There have been reports the two men were planning to stop eating to protest the extension of their detention for 15 days.
``It appears that these men were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and are now being held arbitrarily,'' Dr. Francescutti said. ``If Egyptian authorities want to retain any kind of legitimacy with the world community, they should let them go immediately and provide safe passage out of Egypt.''
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is the national voice of Canadian physicians. Founded in 1867, the CMA is a voluntary professional organization representing more than 78,000 of Canada's physicians and comprising 12 provincial and territorial medical associations and 51 national medical organizations. CMA's mission is to serve and unite the physicians of Canada and be the national advocate, in partnership with the people of Canada, for the highest standards of health and health care.
SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association
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