Dr. Dawg

Why Tarek and John are still in an Egyptian prison

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Loubani Greyson.jpg

Tarek Loubani and John Greyson continue to rot in an Egyptian jail, while both Stephen Harper and John Baird refuse to take their thumbs out. What’s up?

Well, here’s a little speculation informed by past events. It’s not the first time the Conservative government has deliberately stranded our fellow-citizens abroad, after all. But in the past the victims of this malicious behaviour have all been Black, and Muslim. It’s been pretty easy to draw a line from A to B.

In the present case, though, one of the detainees is, judging by his surname, of European stock. And yet no Brenda Martin treatment for him. Why not?

Well, let’s look at the other prisoner first—Tarek Loubani. That “funny name” ring a bell? It should. He’s the young doctor who crashed a Conservative press conference last year to protest the government’s hateful new policy of denying medical care to refugee claimants.

That’s two strikes—maybe three—against him. He’s a Muslim. He’s Palestinian. And he’s vocally opposed to the present government’s policies.

Then there’s filmmaker John Greyson. Boy, he’s a handful. He’s been a progressive filmmaker for years, challenging conservative attitudes and the powers that be. And he’s critical of Israel to the point of taking part in the abortive Freedom Flotilla in 2011.

We don’t have laws permitting the Harper government to deport citizens for their political or religious beliefs, or their colour. But we can get them into trouble when they venture abroad, as CSIS did to Abousfian Abdelrazik. Or just refuse to take them back, as we did to Suaad Hagi Mohaud and Abdihakim Mohammed.

Who knows what actually happened in Egypt? A word in the right ear by Canadian officials, or just neglect? In any case, Loubani and Greyson are in an Egyptian prison sine die, on hunger strike, and our government isn’t raising a finger. Call it the passive version of extraordinary rendition.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on September 18, 2013 2:39 PM.

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