Torstar News Service London emergency room doctor Tarek Loubani has begun a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison.

A London doctor and a Toronto filmmaker — originally from London — are still behind bars in an Egyptian prison 10 days after they were arrested in Cairo.

Dr. Tarek Loubani and John Greyson were reportedly on a medical mission to Gaza through Egypt when they discovered the border they wanted to cross was closed. Reports say the duo then went to a police station to ask directions but were arrested instead.

Days later, they were accused of being among a group of seven men carrying explosives and ammunition in a plot to attack a police station.

Friends and family have denounced the insinuations of a district prosecutor as unfounded and have demanded their release.

“We continue to expect and demand the release of Tarek and John,” said Loubani’s friend and medical colleague Dr. Amit Shah said Monday. “They have a court hearing this Thursday, and the Egyptian lawyers are preparing for this.”

Shah added that Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has demanded their release, and multiple organizations have posted their support for Loubani and Greyson.

“The Guardian and the New York Times have reported on their story, and the online petition has more than 75K signatures,” Shah said.

It was widely reported last Friday that the men were healthy and in good spirits after visits by Canadian officials in Egypt.

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