Two Canadians held in an Egyptian prison for more than a month and then banned from leaving the country got a warm welcome when they arrived home late Friday.
Relatives and supporters of filmmaker John Greyson and emergency room doctor Tarek Loubani were at the Toronto International airport for a rousing welcome. The arrival was broadcast on Canadian television.
The pair, who were transiting Egypt on their way to the neighboring Palestinian Gaza Strip when arrested, had not been formally charged.
They were detained in Cairo on August 16 amid bloody clashes between security forces and Islamists that killed dozens of people.
The duo was released from their roach-infested prison on October 6, but not allowed to travel home because their name was on a travel ban list on orders from a state prosecutor.
The order was eventually revoked upon appeal, and the Canadians left Egypt early Friday.
“We’re delighted to be here, to be free,” said Loubani, standing next to his father with a big smile.
“We were beaten, we were housed in very cramped conditions, sleeping on the concrete with cockroaches,” Greyson told reporters.
Both men thanked Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird for lobbying the Egyptian authorities for their release.