Signs of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani used in Labor Day rallies
Gay Filmmaker Detained in Egypt, Launches Hunger Strike

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com September 21 2013 11:59 AM ET

A gay filmmaker who has been imprisoned in Egypt, seemingly without cause, has been on a hunger strike since September 16.

Canadian filmmaker John Greyson, along with Tarek Loubani M.D., were arrested August 16. A month into their detention, the pair have begun refusing food to protest the arbitrary nature of their detention by Egyptian authorities.

“We can only imagine the anguish that John and Tarek feel after realizing that their detention could be extended for so long in what can only be described as an arbitrary process that lacks any credibility,” Cecilia Greyson, Jonathan Greyson's sister, said in a statement last week. “We know that they did not take the decision to begin a hunger strike lightly, and we want them to know we will do everything we can to support them and get them home soon,” she added.

In addition to actress Sarah Polley and directors Atom Egoyan and Alex Gibney speaking out on their behalf at the Toronto Film Festival, an online petition to release the two have the backing of 115,000 people including Ben Affleck, and Charlize Theron.

Greyson was heralded for his 1996 film Lillies, and has directed episodes of shows like Queer as Folk and Paradise Falls.