From the news desk

LRC taking government to court

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Following an ultimatum calling for the South African government to provide answers on the imprisonment of the Shaykh Abdu Salaam Bassiouni, the Legal Resources Cen¬tre (LRC) is now pursuing legal action on behalf of the Bassiouni family. The family feel aggrieved by the government’s efforts, alleging that the Department of International Relations had failed to assist the alim who is detained in Cairo.

Bassiouni has been held at the notorious Torah prison without charge since December last year. There has been little information as to the nature of his detention. The scholar travelled to Egypt as part of a family visit, in full possession of South African passport and valid visa. However, he’s been accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, a banned organisation in Egypt.

According to LRC attorney, Naseema Fakir, despite send¬ing let¬ters of demand to DIRCO, there has been little communication and transparency on the matter. The legal aid organisation is now draft¬ing court papers to compel the South African government to assist.

“We are basically taking government departments to court in order to get information regarding the charges against Dr Bassiouni. To get him access to medical treatment and consular access.”

Dirco has said the SA embassy in Cairo was negotiating with authorities in Egypt in order to uncover the nature of the charges he is currently facing. According to officials, due to the fact that Bassiouni has dual citizenship, Egyptian authorities have stated that they are within in their rights to detain the scholar. VOC

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