A mutual friend of two Canadian men detained in Egypt says their families are "not at all optimistic" about the country's legal process, following news that Tarek Loubani and John Greyson are going to be held for at least 15 more days.
Loubani, of London, Ont., and Greyson, of Toronto were detained in Cairo on Aug. 16 amid deadly riots in Cairo. They have yet to face formal charges.
"This is not something we can tolerate, this is not a situation that we can just wait for the process to take its course," said Justin Podur, a friend of the Canadians.
"The process is not taking its course, they're just sitting there in jail now."
The men were told on Sunday they would be held for another 15 days, said Podur. No reasons were provided by Egyptian authorities.
'Their conditions are not good, and they have no reason for their continuing detentions.' - Justin Podur, friend of jailed Canadians
Loubani, a doctor and native of Bathurst and Greyson, a filmmaker and university professor, had been intending to make their way to Gaza.
Foreign Affairs officials have said they believe Loubani and Greyson were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were detained.
Podur said his two friends have been held in a crowded cell with 38 inmates, a single sink and one toilet. They have also been refused access to the Egyptian jail's daily exercise period outside.
Loubani and Greyson have since been moved to a less crowded cell with five others, but Podur said that is the only good news they've had.
"Their conditions are not good, and they have no reason for their continuing detentions," he said.
Lynne Yelich, the junior foreign affairs minister, said the government was "disappointed" to learn that the two Ontario men will continue to be held in custody.
"Canada shares the concern of the families and friends of Dr. Loubani and Mr. Greyson in this matter and, in the absence of confirmation of the charges, continues to call for their release," Yelich said in a statement released Sunday.
Podur said the families want to see Prime Minister Stephen Harper get involved directly and call the Egyptian prime minister to request their immediate release.
Friends and family are concerned about the actions of the local prosecutor.
"These things the prosecutor is saying are, as far as we're concerned, just to string us along and we can't wait anymore for the prosecutor to make a decision," he said.