01/26/2015 12:42 EST | Updated 03/28/2015 05:59 EDT

Montreal commemorates Egypt Tahrir Square uprisings

A handful of people huddle together, clutching signs and holding candles against the cold and dark.

The impromptu gathering was spurred by the weekend's violence in Egypt and to commemorate the four-year anniversary of the Tahrir Square uprisings.

Liliane Boctor says among those killed was activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, reportedly shot by police while she was going to place flowers at Tahrir Square.

“It's a scary time. Journalists are being imprisoned: People who speak against the military. There's a crackdown on any sort of dissent,” she said.

Among those imprisoned journalists is Egyptian Canadian Mohamed Fahmy.

Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird travelled to Cairo to seek his release.

At the vigil, Nelly Bassily said Canada should be taking an even stronger stand against government repression in Egypt.

“There shouldn't be any support internationally for a system that has been repressing its people, over and over and over again,” she said.

While those at the vigil say the hope generated by the Tahrir Square protests four years ago has been dampened, they still believe Egyptians will continue to fight for greater democratic freedoms — a struggle they believe could take many years more.