Justice for Imprisoned Canadians – A letter to Mr. Adly Mansour, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

*The following letter has been sent to the Egyptian ambassador to Canada, Mr. Wael Aboelmagd*

To Mr. Adly Mansour – President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

Dear Mr. Mansour,

I send you my sincerest greetings. I wish to bring your attention to an issue that is, unfortunately, harming Egypt’s reputation as a civil state. Since August 16th, 2013 Canadians Tarek Loubani and John Greyson have been detained in Tora Prison in Cairo on undisclosed charges, and have had to deal with inhumane treatment at the hands of Egyptian forces.

I must admit that I am not privy to much information relating to their charges or what information they possess. As far as I know, there may be legitimate reasons for why these two Canadians are being held in prison. However, regardless of whether there are legitimate charges against these two individuals, Egypt has an obligation to respect their right to fair proceedings and humane treatment. 

I am certain that you, as a former judge, are well aware of the importance of procedural fairness and due process in the administration of justice. It was the lack of these factors in our justice and political system that compelled millions of Egyptians to take to the streets against Mr. Mubarak and Mr. Morsi on January 25th, 2011 and June 30th, 2013 (respectively). 

I am sympathetic of to Egypt’s security concerns at the time, and the need for order and stability in an increasingly chaotic situation. However, this situation should also be seen as a test for the value of rule of law in Egyptian society. If one sees the Egyptian situation as an opportunity to emphasize the importance of rule of law, regardless of the chaos that grips the country, Egypt will be on track to becoming a strong, independent and powerful civil state. 

Out of respect for the rules of due process, I urge you to allow these two men their right to a fair and impartial proceeding, and to ensure that these two men are treated with respect and dignity while awaiting their trial.

I trust that your judgement and action in this matter will be sound and swift. Thank you, and may God bless Egypt and all its people.

Best Regards,

Sherif Rizk

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