TORONTO — The families of two Canadians staging a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison said Sunday that Egyptian authorities have extended their detention for another 45 days.
Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have been held without charges in Egypt since Aug. 16 despite Canadian diplomatic pressure. The two said in a statement Saturday that they've been beaten and subjected to degrading treatment since being detained at the height of violent protests in Cairo last month.
Lynne Yelich, a Canadian minister responsible for consular affairs, said Sunday that the government is "disappointed" that the two will stay in custody longer.
Cecilia Greyson said a prosecutor issued the extension order for her brother and Loubani on Sunday. Loubani, a physician, and Greyson, a filmmaker, were trying to make their way to Gaza when they went to watch the protests by supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi a few blocks from their hotel.
Their statement Saturday said they had been beaten and dumped in a squalid, cockroach-infested jail cell crammed with others picked up that day. They said they witnessed more than 50 people die in the unrest. They had planned an overnight stay in Cairo en route to Gaza, where Loubani was to do humanitarian work documented on film by Greyson.
Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said he had raised their case in a meeting Friday night with his Egyptian counterpart.