"Canadian filmmaker and doctor imprisoned in Egypt for possessing drones"

From DroneJournalism.org:

Two Canadians, a film maker and an emergency room physician, have been held in an prison for almost three weeks now for possessing what the Egyptian government calls "surveillance drones."

The two men, John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, have been on a hunger strike to protest brutal conditions at the prison, according to The Toronto Star.

Greyson, who teaches film theory at York University, and Loubani, who practices emergency medicine in London, Ont., were arrested after Egyptian police found two small quadcopter drones in their hotel room.

The men claim that the drones are used for the quick transport of medical supplies. According to one of Loubani's colleagues interviewed by The Star, the small aircraft would be programmed by hospitals to deliver small amounts of urgently-needed medicine.

Loubani reportedly demonstrated this technology at Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, and at London’s Fanshawe College.

This detention shows that while drones can put photographers, journalists, and others out of harm's way, there are still risks for those who might wish to use the technology.

Ian Hannah, a Canadian drone pilot and photographer who operates the aerial photography service Avrobotics, wrote in an email that "it shows the danger that may exist even being caught with a drone in certain countries."

"The authorities perceive them as some kind of threat," wrote Hannah, a DroneJournalism.org member. "It's an important lesson for anyone going to these types of locations that there is clearly a great suspicion of this technology."

Views: 3283

Comment by Gary McCray on October 6, 2013 at 3:49pm

So stupid and so sad.

Sensationalist claptrap and taboos seem to trump common sense and reason at every opportunity.

Of course, even we in the "enlightened" West seem to have plenty of that ourselves.

I think you are in a very "interesting" position Chris and I wish you all the luck in the World.

To take this technology where you want to go with it you are going to have to confront many dragons.

Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on October 6, 2013 at 4:15pm

This makes me very sad. These guys won't stand a chance in an Egyptian court. 

I wonder what drove the military to search their hotel room?

Comment by Zinc Whiskers on October 6, 2013 at 4:38pm

They were released yesterday...but still waiting on exit papers to actually leave the country.

Strange the mainstream media hasn't reported on the "drone" angle.

Comment by Muhammad Al-Rawi on October 6, 2013 at 4:49pm

Woops, I should have followed up on the story before posting.

Comment by Hein du Plessis on October 6, 2013 at 10:52pm
So one can get arrested for fpv?

Comment by Bill Bonney on October 7, 2013 at 4:45am
Good news to hear they have been released. Up here above the 49th its been extensively reported. Though this is the first about using drones. The news here is that they where witnesses to alleged atrocities. Hence detrainment.
Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 7, 2013 at 8:01am

Wow, very interesting!

As Bill says, this has pretty much been a top news story for weeks in Canada, as they were held in detention for several weeks without charge.  There was no indication as to why they were being held, other than "in the wrong place at the wrong time".

The MSM never reported on this "drone" angle.  Very very interesting.

I wonder if they were using Arducopter?  Probably a pretty good chance they were.

I've never heard of this "Avrobotics" place, and their website is completely empty.

Comment by lot on October 7, 2013 at 3:08pm

This year I was traveling in Egypt with a hexacopter drone without any trouble, but I was taking care all the time.
They are more "political prisoners" than "technological prisioners". The Egyptian autorities don't like civilians helping people in Gaza strip when they close the borders.

Comment by Sgt Ric on October 7, 2013 at 7:17pm
UPDATE: John Greyson and Tarek Loubani, still have not been allowed to leave. Their lawyer hopes they will be released by Thursday.
Comment by Bill Isenberger on October 7, 2013 at 8:17pm

Did they have permission to bring the drones into Egypt? A lot of countries have strict policies regarding electronic equipment. It is good policy (and common sense) to be upfront and get proper documentation for it before traveling to these regions. Especially in areas lacking stability.


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