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Thu Dec 08 06:01:23 SAST 2016

Family overjoyed at dad's release from Egyptian jail

Taschica Pillay | 2016-03-30 00:22:11.0
Bassiouni, who holds dual Egyptian and South African citizenship, was finally released in the early hours of yesterday morning. File photo
Image by: Photo posted on Twitter by Zaakir Ahmed Mayet ‏@ZA_Mayet

A Johannesburg family is planning a celebration following the release of Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdus Salaam Bassiouni.

Bassiouni, 65, was detained in Egypt in December 2014 after travelling with his family to attend his daughter's engagement.

Shortly after arriving in Cairo he and his son, Bilal,were taken into custody. Bilal was released later.

They were interrogated separately about their political affiliations and questioned whether they were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt's government had declared a terrorist organisation. Bilal was released 20 hours later.

Bassiouni, who holds dual Egyptian and South African citizenship, was finally released in the early hours of yesterday morning.

His daughter, Zahra, who is in Egypt, said her dad was exhausted.

"Everyone's extremely relieved. It was not easy for him, nor for us. We will organise a family function to celebrate his release as it happened at 12.50am, a very awkward time to celebrate," said Zahra.

Bassiouni's release was ordered at a pre trial hearing in Cairo a fortnight ago, Bilal said.

"My dad was then moved to a police station. My brother was called to the station at about 11pm and two hours later my dad was released."

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