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Two Canadians Released From Egyptian Prison Are Unable To Return Home

The pair, who were released from an Egyptian prison after being held without charges since mid-August, were barred from flying out of the country on Sunday, Cairo airport officials said.

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These undated family handout photos show John Greyson, a filmmaker and professor (left), and Tarek Loubani, a physician. Canada's Foreign Affairs department said late Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, the two Canadians held without charges for the past several weeks in Egypt have been released from prison.

John Greyson, a Toronto filmmaker and York University professor, and Tarek Loubani, a physician from London, Ontario, were released from an Egyptian prison on Sunday morning after being held since August.

The pair were surprised, because they were not expecting to be released, Greyson's sister, Cecilia, told The Associated Press.

After being released, they checked into a flight for Frankfurt, Germany, but were not allowed to board the plane because their names appeared on a "stop-list" issued by prosecutors, the airport officials said.

Greyson and Loubani were allowed to take their luggage and leave the airport, the officials said. Greyson's sister also explained Canadian consular officials were dealing with what she called "red tape," so they could begin their trip back to Canada.

Loubani and Greyson were in Egypt during the unrest surrounding the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. The pair were planning to travel to Palestinian-ruled Gaza, where Loubani was to teach emergency room medicine and Greyson was considering producing a documentary.

The pair were arrested Aug. 16 after a pro-Morsi demonstration in Cairo in which the Canadians said they saw at least 50 protesters killed. Loubani was asked by another doctor to assist, so he began treating wounded demonstrators while Greyson filmed the scene. They said they were arrested and beaten after leaving the area of the protests.

Last month, the two men released a statement saying they were beaten and subjected to degrading treatment in the Egyptian prison. They said they were crammed with other inmates in a disgusting, cockroach-filled prison cell.

The pair endured a 16-day hunger strike to try to pressure Egyptian officials to release them, but began eating food again last week.

Michelle Broder Van Dyke is a reporter and night editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Hawaii.

Contact Michelle Broder Van Dyke at

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