Monday, January 26, 2009

South African doctor detained in Egypt

Johannesburg - A South African charity worker has been detained by Egyptian security officials en route to Gaza, The Star newspaper reported on Monday.

Dr Feroz Abukaker Ganchi was part of a humanitarian aid expedition headed by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the report said.

The expedition was blocked from entering Gaza at the Rafah border post on Friday because Egyptian authorities wanted to question Ganchi, who is an emergency medical practitioner at an Upington hospital.

"They spoke to him for half an hour and then said he could go. But at the Rafah border they stopped him again and, without telling us anything, he was taken away by the Egyptian internal security," foundation chairperson Imtiaz Sooliman told The Star.

"He didn't say anything to me because I was still busy with the passports, but he told one of the team he was being taken away for questioning.

"We don't know why or where he has been taken. I contacted the Egyptian embassy and our foreign affairs department. Our government is trying to get access to him."

The foreign ministry said it was "in consultation with Egyptian authorities to find a resolution."

In 2004, Ganchi was arrested by Pakistani police for alleged involvement in "terrorist activities", the newspaper said.

- SAPA,,2-7-1442_2458966,00.html

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