CAIRO - Egypt's army-backed authorities have extended the detention of two Canadians held without charge since political clashes in mid-August as officials investigate a small remote control airplane and other items found in the pair's hotel room.
The Canadian government called earlier this month for Tarek Loubani, a doctor, and John Greyson, a filmmaker, to be released.
The two men, who have been on hunger strike for 13 days, face a range of charges including arson, murder, and attacking a police station which come with the allegation they participated in illegal demonstrations by supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi in the city on August 16.
They have been held along with hundreds of other detainees in what they say are squalid conditions in Cairo's Tora prison since and say they were on their way to Gaza to work and had gone only to observe the protests during a layover in Cairo.
A foreign ministry spokesman said officials had found surveillance equipment including a camera attached to a small plane during a search of their hotel room and would hold the men while investigations continued.
"We cannot jump to conclusions about spying charges, the prosecution needs to finish investigations. Now, they are being charged with participation in illegal demonstrations," spokesman Badr Abdelatty told Reuters.
"We were told that there was a drone in the hotel room, that is usually used to attach a camera on it. I don't know if there was already a camera on the drone when they found it."
The men's lawyer, Marwa Farouk, said they deny all charges against them.