Thursday, June 26, 2014 2:02 pm
Cape Town, (South Africa) – South Africa’s official opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday joined the global outcry over the sentencing of Al-Jazeera journalists by the Egyptian court.
It has promised to table the matter for discussion at the Pan African Parliament.
Two Al-Jazeera journalists were sentenced to seven years in jail and one to 10 years by an Egyptian court for allegedly reporting false news, violating Egyptian religious practices and aiding the political opposition.
Reports say that Egyptian Ambassadors worldwide are facing a diplomatic backlash following Monday’s court ruling.
Both the Netherlands and the UK summoned the Egyptian Ambassadors in Amsterdam and London respectively. South Africa has yet to comment on the matter.
The DA said it would be submitting parliamentary questions to the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane to ascertain South Africa’s exact position on the matter and what intervention, if any, will be undertaken by Pretoria on the issue.
“We believe that neither the religious practices nor the constitution of Egypt were violated by the journalists in question.
As a party which rigorously defends the Constitution of South Africa which upholds freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of association.
“We consider the legal action taken against the Al-Jazeera journalists operating in Egypt as unjust,” said Sandy Kalyan, DA’s Shadow Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation. (PANA/NAN)