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Breakthrough in Bassiouni case

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The Bassiouni family say they remain uncertain of the details around news of Sheikh Abdu-Salaam Bassiouni’s impending release from the Torah Prison in Egypt. On Saturday, an Egyptian court ruled in favour of his release but it has yet to be enacted.

The Egyptian-South African citizen has been detained in prison since December 2014, without charge. While Bassiouni is in possession of a legal South African citizenship, the family has battled for his release.

“Up to this stage, my father is still in custody however, we are waiting for his possible release following the court ruling,” his son Bilal told VOC News.

The Shaykh travelled to Egypt to attend his daughter’s wedding in December 2014, was detained on entry and subsequently imprisoned. While he was never formally charged, he was arrested on charges of being a member of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, claims the family has strongly denied.

The family say their main concern is around the state of Bassiouni’s health. Bilal says his father’s back injury is worrying. While Bassiouni has diabetes, the family previously reported that during his detention, Bassiouni suffered a fall which has now resulted in a serious back injury that he has not had medically treated yet.

“My father’s injury is still very bad. His lower back is fractured and that is our first concern now. We need to get him to medical care as soon as possible,” Bilal continued.

At this point, very little is known to the Bassiouni family. But Bilal says once his father is home safely and treated in hospital, they will discuss the steps forward following the two year ordeal. It’s uncertain what diplomatic channels were followed in securing the scholar’s release. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)


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